COLORADO — The pandemic year was an especially crime-ridden year for Colorado.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation released its 2020 crime statistics Tuesday, showing crime increased last year in nearly every major category, but especially in violent and property crimes.
Motor vehicle theft was the most dramatic increase. There were just over 22,000 vehicle thefts in 2019. There were nearly 31,000 in 2020. That’s a 39% increase year-over-year.
Violent crime categories also surged in 2020, increasing by 6.5%.
Colorado had a 29% jump in murder and non-negligent mansluaghter last year. There were 2,400 more aggravated assaults last year, for a 17% increase from 2019.
The lone category that saw improvement was sex crimes. In 2020, non-consensual sex offenses dropped by 17%.
Many of the state statistics lined up with local departments in regards to which crimes they saw an increase or decrease in. 353,528 total crimes were reported in Colorado in 2020, reflecting a 3.9% increase from last year.
“A lot of these numbers and throughout the nation will be hard to define or explain because this was a catastrophic event with COVID,” Sgt. Frank Ortega with Pueblo Police said. “It affected everyone, it changed the living situation for a lot of people, it created a lot of stress and dynamics which made it hard for everybody.”
Pueblo had 13 homicides in 2020, one more than 2019. Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) responded to 39 homicides, which is 15 more than last year.
“It seemed like there was more an increase in domestic violence and I think part of that is because everyone is locked in the same house together and no opportunity to go to other places,” Sgt. Ortega added.
As for property crime both southern Colorado departments saw a slight decrease.
“Saw significant motor vehicle thefts resulting in people leaving their vehicles running and unattended or leaving their car keys in the vehicle,” Lt. Jim Sokolik with Colorado Springs Police Department said.
Police Departments use analysts to review data regularly to help officers target efforts.
“What they are looking at is change in patterns in areas where officers can make a difference in enforcement,” Lt. Sokolik explained. “Providing that information to our command staff, providing that information to our commanders that are running our division and let them know here is something significant going on and maybe we should move resources or if you’ve had an impact in an area, we should move resources to another place.”
COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS
Person’s Crime – 4% overall increase
- Homicide – 63% increase
- Rape – 10% decrease
- Aggravated assault – 24% increase
- Simple Assault – no change
- Robbery – 22% decrease
Property Crime – 7% decrease overall
- Burglary – 7% increase
- Burglary of a motor vehicle 7% decrease
- Motor Vehicle theft 21% decrease
- Other thefts 7% decrease
PUEBLO POLICE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS
Person’s Crime – 8% overall increase
- Homicide – 8% increase
- Sexual Assault – 2% increase
- Aggravated Assault – 11% increase
- Robbery – 5% increase
Property Crime – 5% decrease overall
- Burglary – 12% decrease
- Burglary of a motor vehicle 13% increase
- Motor Vehicle theft 6% decrease
- Other thefts 9% decrease