Denver Mayor’s Car Stolen as Rising Crime Becomes Key Issue in 2024 Races

Denver - Mike Johnston, president and chief executive officer of Gary Ventures, makes a po
David Zalubowski, File/AP

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston (D) had his vehicle stolen for the second time, though it has since been recovered, as rising crime in the city becomes a key issue in the battle for Rep. Yadira Caraveo’s (D-CO) seat.

According to Denver 7, Johnston’s vehicle was stolen roughly one month ago, but a spokesperson confirmed it has been recovered. However, where it was stolen remains unknown, as his office withheld details in order “to protect the safety of Mayor Johnston and his family.”

Johnston is not new to having his car stolen, either, as someone stole it from a Denver Office Depot roughly six years ago.

“Help! My car just got stolen from Office Depot on 35th+quebec. Call 911 if seen (yes I painted my car orange+blue),” Johnston wrote in a January 1, 2017, social media post.

According to NIBRS crime data, there have been 6,110 instances of violent crime — 607 sexual assaults, 1,099 robberies, 76 murders, and 4,328 aggravated assaults — in the city year-to-date. That represents a 5.58 percent increase from the three-year average of violent crime alone.

There have also been 36,580 instances of property crime in the city, including 11,015 instances of auto theft year-to-date.

In March, KDVR reported that auto theft comprised part of the biggest trio of crime in city at that point in time.

“Colorado’s auto theft rate climbed by the fastest rate in the nation from 2011 to 2020 – 144%. The number of car thefts doubled from 2019 to 2022,” it reported, noting that 43 percent of the crime in the city at the time was auto-related.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which focuses on electing Republicans to office at the congressional level, is capitalizing on this crime issue in Denver, calling out Rep. Caraveo, specifically, for her soft on crime positions.

“Yadira Caraveo has enabled this crime crisis in Colorado,” NRCC spokeswoman Delanie Bomar said in a statement.

“Her attempts to coddle criminals has backfired on hardworking families who now have one more thing to worry about when they drive into the city,” she added.

In August, the NRCC highlighted more of Caravero’s history of worsening crime via her policies:

In case you missed it, a recent Colorado Springs Gazette op-ed discusses the drug epidemic overtaking Colorado, pointing to a 2019 law as the root of the problem, saying, “Chalk it all up to increasingly permissive drug laws — foremost, the devastating decriminalization of hard drugs by the Colorado Legislature in 2019.”

In 2019, it was Yadira Caraveo who introduced the law to lower the penalty for fentanyl possession in Colorado. Fentanyl overdose deaths in Colorado have doubled in the two years following the passage of Caraveo’s law, and those numbers are rising.

Caraveo won her current seat in Colorado’s 8th congressional district in 2022, defeating Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer.

Several Republicans are lining up to challenge her, including health insurance consultant Joe Andujo, state Rep. Gabe Evans, and county commissioner Scott James.


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