DENVER – Yesterday, the Colorado State Senate unanimously passed Senator Gardner’s Senate Bill 23-097, a bill that will make all auto theft a felony regardless of the car’s value.
Colorado leads the nation in auto theft. In 2022, approximately 41,225 vehicles were stolen in the State of Colorado, a 10% increase from 2021. In the month of January, over 1,000 vehicles were stolen in the city of Denver alone.
“The unfortunate reality is crime continues to climb in Colorado, especially auto theft, and many of those who have fallen victim to this crisis have been those in disenfranchised and lower income communities,” Senator Gardner remarked. “This bill will hold criminals accountable for their actions and send a clear message that this crime will not be tolerated. While this bill is a good start in the right direction, there is still plenty of work that must be done to solve this crime crisis we continue to face.”
“Colorado Republicans have been advocating for stronger public safety measures for years, and this bill is yet another example of this,” Senate Minority Leader Lundeen (R- Monument) said at the bill’s introduction. “We are pleased to see our Democrat colleagues finally join us in this critical effort.”
Last year, Colorado Republicans introduced multiple bills aimed at curbing crime in Colorado; all but one, SB22-145, were killed by Democrats.
The bill will be considered in the Colorado Statehouse in the coming weeks.