With National Puffer Awareness Week being observed from January 27 to February 2, Brighton police officers will be taking a tougher stance on ‘puffers’, a term used for vehicles left running but unattended and unsecured. Puffers account for more than half of all auto thefts annually and reflect an even higher percentage of these crimes during the colder months, November-March.
Not only are these crimes preventable, but they can also be extremely costly and inconvenient to their victims and others. An increasing number of cars are being stolen
specifically for use in other crimes or crime sprees, including robberies and burglaries, and end up being heavily damaged or destroyed by the thief.
Because of this, by state statute (CRS 42-4-1206) it is illegal to leave a motor vehicle parked running and unattended unless adequate security measures have been taken. ‘Adequate security measures’ would include the use of any remote starting system that:
* Requires a key be placed in the vehicle’s ignition to place the vehicle in gear
* Requires a special key fob be in close proximity to the vehicle to operate it
* Is used in conjunction with a steering-wheel security device
Although Brighton officers have not traditionally written citations to violators of this law, especially those who have been victims of auto theft, 19 cars have already been stolen from Brighton residents in 2019, roughly double the number reported in the first 25 days of last year. In an effort to avoid seeing the kind of increase we saw from 2014 to 2015, when thefts of vehicles in Brighton nearly doubled, officers will be increasing their attention to the problem and will be issuing warnings or citations to the owners of these vehicles in the near future.
Report suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1; for non-emergencies call (303) 288-1535.