DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Public Safety says Colorado Puffer Week will start Sunday, Jan. 26. The campaign warns drivers about the risks of leaving their vehicle running unattended.

The Colorado Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC) reports there were more than 20,000 vehicles stolen across the state in 2019.

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(credit: CBS)

Officials say the cars are then used in other crimes. On Tuesday, four juveniles stole a car and started a chase with Arvada police, they say. Three of the four suspects were arrested.

“Colorado law does exempt vehicles with a remote-start from being ticketed if found running unattended. However, drivers must keep the keyless start fob far enough away from the car that the vehicle can’t be operated,” state officials said.

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A ticket for the first offense can start at $60.

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10 Tips for Preventing Auto Theft 

  • Never leave your car running unattended.
  • In cold weather, warm up with your car: grab a hot cup of coffee, gloves and a blanket. It shouldn’t take long – most cars warm up in a matter of minutes.
  • Park in an enclosed garage whenever possible.
  • Use a remote start if you have one, making sure the doors are locked and the keyless start fob is far enough away that the vehicle can’t be moved.
  • Lock your doors every single time.
  • Always park in well-lit areas.
  • Invest in anti-theft technology (i.e., alarm system, Club…).
  • Use our Hot Spot Map to see if there have been auto thefts where you live or work.
  • Follow the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) “Layered Approach” to protection.
  • See the top stolen vehicles and top five cities for auto theft in Colorado here.