Feb 23, 2021 - News

Denver's pandemic crime spikes

Data: Denver Police; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic is generating its own type of crime wave in Denver.

The state of play: The majority of the 15 most common crimes in the city experienced increases in 2020 compared with the prior year, an Axios review of city data shows.

Details: The largest spikes included property crimes with vehicles being a top target for theft, break-ins, damage and stolen parts.

  • In 2020, Denver experienced a 1,600% spike in theft of catalytic converters, an emission-controlling device located under your car that contains valuable metals.
  • Car thefts in the Denver area jumped nearly 55% last year, compared to 2019, according to the Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force.

What's happening: It's difficult to draw conclusions from year to year when it comes to crime rates, but research shows crime traditionally increases during hard economic times.

  • Denver police spokesperson Doug Schepman told Axios that "pandemic-related emotional stressors and financial insecurity are contributing to increases in crime."

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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