A yearslong trend of increasing property crime in Broomfield is showing signs of leveling off, according to crime data from the Broomfield Police Department.
Motor vehicle thefts in Broomfield have risen since 2019, Police Chief Enea Hempelmann told Broomfield City Council on Tuesday. The police department responded to 139 motor vehicle thefts in 2019, 283 motor vehicle thefts in 2020 and 380 motor vehicle thefts in 2021.
The city and county saw an increase in motor vehicle thefts this spring, with 47 reported in March alone, but those numbers have decreased. Twenty-seven motor vehicle thefts were reported in August.
“To see that decrease in just one month is good, because if we had continued at the rate we were at we would have exceeded 400 (thefts),” Hempelmann said.
It’s not always clear what leads to a decrease in crime statistics, Hempelmann said.
“I don’t have that magic wand, but I do know we’ve done a number of special enforcement plans,” she said. One example is a recent night when officers went out on a “safety audit” at Camden Flatirons Apartments, which had seen an increase in property crime reports.
Officers spend two hours walking around and leaving notes on cars that were unlocked, had purses in plain view or had keys left in the ignition.
Those numbers will likely continue to drop throughout the year, Hempelmann said, as the department typically sees higher rates in the summer and lower during the fall and winter.
The department is also requesting funding for a special enforcement team that can focus on and target different types of crime, Hempelmann said.
“Motor vehicle theft will always be one of the topics we have for specialized teams, because a lot of the time criminals are traveling in stolen cars, so if you can nip that a little bit you might be able to control some of the other numbers,” she said.
While Broomfield’s property crimes have increased, violent crime rates – which includes assault, robberies, rape and murder – have remained relatively stagnant, and Broomfield continues to have lower violent crime rates that neighborhing communities, Hempelmann said.
The city and county is also looking at more stringent penalties for motor vehicle thefts, said City and County Manager Jennifer Hoffman, and will bring the topic to City Council near the end of the year.