Last week, during July’s National Auto Theft Prevention Month, The Gazette’s Julia Cardi explored possible answers to Colorado’s undeniable increase in auto theft rates.
We live in the car theft capital of the USA. For this public safety disaster, those in power are quick to blame countless factors, none of which are their own.
Basically, policies by Colorado’s governor, attorney general, legislature and a handful of progressive prosecutors have created an environment so permissive and welcoming to crime that, in just 10 years, Colorado’s motor speed has increased. car theft has risen from below the national average to leading in every state in America.
At the first attorney general candidate forum of the 2022 election cycle, office official Phil Weiser told residents of Windcrest Senior Living Center that a global pandemic is causing Colorado’s particular crime tsunami. He revealed why he believes Jefferson County has seen a decrease in auto theft.
“After someone commits, say, their third or fourth carjacking in three months,” Weiser said, “they should be held (in jail) on a really high bond because you feel like they’re going to get out. They’re going to commit more crimes. … In Jeffco, they they do it.
He offered no explanation as to why this “feeling” did not begin after the first or second carjacking.
By the way, there is no decrease in car thefts in Jefferson County. It is the opposite. The latest data from the Colorado Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (C-MATT) shows that Jeffco has seen a more than 26% increase in auto thefts over the same period last year…the only other county in the metro area that includes Denver. I agree with Weiser that the policies he advocates encourage this disastrous outcome.
It’s not the first time Weiser, who has repeatedly and mistakenly called himself “Colorado’s best law enforcement officer,” has taken a “keep ’em on the streets” approach to public safety. In 2021, Weiser co-sponsored Senate Bill 62, which seeks to not only prevent car thieves from being jailed when they are arrested, but also to keep them out of jail until they skip court three times.
How else does our AG solve the highest car theft rate in America? Last weekend, Weiser tweeted a recommendation to “buy insurance that covers your car and catalytic converter if it’s stolen.” Problem solved.
Of course, the issue is bigger than a progressive AG with no criminal justice experience. This extends to a Legislature that continues to prioritize criminals over victims and a governor who enables them and refuses to publicly acknowledge—let alone address—the rising crime we see and feel all around us. Aurora has had enough and they are doing something about it.
A recent move has been made to allow municipalities and provinces greater independence and autonomy in governing themselves. Local governments are now trusted to further restrict residents’ basic Second Amendment rights, but are not trusted to do the same for abortion rights.
Local governments can even hinder energy development efforts by creating regulations that are onerous and more difficult than state standards specific to their area.
Enter Aurora. Apparently unwilling to let its citizens suffer the predictable and preventable effects of Colorado’s pro-criminal laws and policies, Aurora has chosen to aggressively target car thieves and then promise jail time for those convicted.
As Aurora’s practice of returning to accountability under the law begins to pay dividends, and as businesses and families vote with their feet to choose Aurora over other cities, we expect more municipalities to follow suit.
The only question remaining is whether Governor Jared Polis, a progressive-dominated legislature and attorney general, will take the embarrassing hint and reverse course, or will they try to prevent cities from taking a stand on crime?
– George Brauchler is a former district attorney for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit. He is also president of the Advance Colorado Academy, which identifies, educates and connects conservative leaders in Colorado. He hosts “The George Brauchler Show” on 710KNUS, Monday through Friday from 6am to 10am. Follow him on Twitter: @GeorgeBrauchler.