Drivers told CBS News Colorado reporter Jasmine Arenas that it’s a gut-wrenching feeling when you walk outside and can’t find your car.

With auto thefts skyrocketing in recent years, the hope is to help victims with the latest new initiatives

Victims like Abel Gonzalez, who has marks on his truck left behind from when his truck was stolen years ago.  

“I am just absolutely fed up with it,” said Gonzalez. 

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CBS


Thousands have shared the sentiment. For Gonzalez who has been a victim of attempted auto theft six times, he wants to see change. The first time he got his car stolen was back in 2020. 

“Then I got it back five days later, it was in terrible status, it could’ve been totaled, but I don’t have the luxury of doing that,” said Gonzalez. 

RELATED: Denver police, Mayor Mike Johnston introduce new auto theft program

Thieves attempted to steal his vehicle last summer, just right outside his apartment complex. 

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CBS


“My window was open and I can hear them outside and I’m sick of it, so I ran outside with a bat and chased them away, but that was probably not the right thing to do,” said Gonzalez. 

Police advise the public not to go after thieves.

Michael Lewis has been the administrator of the Colorado Stolen Cars’ Facebook page since 2014, a page where people post their stolen vehicles.

“I’ve had a car stolen and there is no feeling that I can describe when you have your vehicle stolen,” said Lewis. 

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He adds the page has grown in members since he took over, just speaking to the bigger issue at hand. 

RELATED: Denver International Airport saw fewer car thefts at the end of 2023

“When I took over the page there were approximately 18,000 members, now we are at 47,000-plus members,” said Lewis. 

Lewis says sometimes the page sees 20 requests a day for help and that number nearly doubles during a cold snap.

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CBS


“These thieves don’t care about you, they will take your vehicle or your property, period,” said Lewis.

Lewis and many of the Facebook users are happy to see the city is doing something to protect cars.

But Gonzales wants to see more done across the state. 

“I mean from my understanding it’s a slap on the wrist and they’re back on the street in a few hours, there’s no real consequence for it,” said Gonzalez. 

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Using these tools and resources led to nearly 2,200 auto theft suspects arrested by the Denver Police Department. 

DPD also recommends signing up for Denver Track. According to the department, out of the 2,800 people that signed up, none of them have had their vehicle stolen.


Office of Mayor Mike Johnston confirms car was stolen

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