(NationRise.com) – Mike Johnston, the Democrat mayor of Denver, CO, reported his car stolen in November as car thefts rise sharply in the city.
The mayor’s office confirmed the theft. However, they wouldn’t release details of the incident publicly, citing the safety of Johnston and his family as the reason. Denver police have since recovered his vehicle.
Johnston’s car was also stolen at an Office Depot parking lot on New Year’s Day in 2017. Police recovered the vehicle a few days later, but not before the thieves ripped off his custom orange paneling.
Johnston promised that he would fight to make auto theft a felony. It is currently classified as a misdemeanor in Colorado. According to his campaign site, he believed it should be more severe than the penalty for texting while driving.
The incident follows a significant increase in crime that continues to plague the Democrat-controlled city with little hope of slowing in the near future. Nearly half of those crimes were related to vehicle theft. The city experienced more murders and assaults in the spring of 2023 than had previously been seen in five years.
Auto thefts increased by 144% in Colorado from 2011 to 2020. It was the largest increase of vehicle thefts in the nation.
Ron Thomas, Denver’s police chief, attributes the rise in crime to “more armed individuals.” State legislators are calling for more gun restrictions in response to the crime wave. Past efforts to restrict gun ownership in the city have failed to stem violent crime.
Beth McCann, Denver’s District Attorney, also partially blamed the crime increase on social structures that were lost during the pandemic in 2020. She noted that the absence of churches, recreational centers, libraries, and schools made it more difficult for children to learn how to confront conflict constructively. However, she also referred to the increased gun sales in the city as “terrifying.”
Crime has also increased throughout suburban Denver. Westminster and Aurora, also blue cities, have seen higher rates of violent crimes over the past few years.
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