Police records saw a huge increase in smash-and-grab vehicle thefts from January to September this year. While Denver Police Department says such crimes could be prevented, consumer advocates worry that if the trend continues, Denver auto insurance premium rates could go up for city residents.
Over a nine-month period which started in January 2009, police has recorded a 34% increase in vehicle break-ins in Denver. This totals to 5,610 cases since the beginning of this year.
As caught by several surveillance cameras from different locations in Denver, smash-and-grab thieves usually ride on a motorbike, stop beside a parked vehicle, and smashes its window before riding off with valuable items.
Police note that if a thief sees nothing on a car, he easily moves to the next parked vehicle and grabs whatever he finds. Law enforcers say break-ins are crimes of opportunity and thieves can be deterred if they have none. They advise motorists not to leave valuable items when they leave their vehicles so such crimes can be prevented.
While vehicle thieves can easily be prevented, some people say that there is no stopping the increase in insurance costs which is happening in Denver right now. Industry specialists observed that the claims for auto insurance have risen during the past three quarters of 2009 largely because of the rising number of vehicle break-ins. Since the city has become a riskier place for motorists, experts explained that it is only natural for insurers to ask more from policy holders. They say that this allows insurers to make up for money dispensed during claim which is necessary to sustain their operation.
Also another concern for Denver policy holders is the rising number of chop shop. Police reports reveal that many stolen high-end vehicles are brought to these shops which dismantle those units and sell them as parts.
Just this week, another chop shop was discovered in the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area. Police says thieves who supply cars to that shop victimized car dealers. Law enforcement representatives announce that their intensive operations could discourage thieves which would eventually decrease vehicle crime rates. They also announced their intention to conduct statewide investigations regarding the matter.
Meanwhile, Denver insurers applaud the efforts by its police department remarking that if crime rates, then they will likewise decrease their vehicle insurance premiums. They also remind clients that while they cover damages sustained by vehicles during a break-in, the cost of stolen property is usually covered through the homeowner’s policy, even if it was stolen inside the vehicle.