There’s bad luck and then there’s bad luck. This unfortunate couple seems to have the latter, whether you chalk it up to the pandemic’s influence over the past year or the universe just not being kind.

A few weeks ago, Erika and Chris Gebhardt had their car stolen. According to The Denver Channel, the couple, who lives down in Denver County, even saw the perpetrator do so through the security camera mounted on their garage.

"Somehow, they got our spare key and stole our car out of the driveway at 2:30 in the morning," Erika said. However, the thieves hadn’t counted on the Gebhardt’s canniness. Upon discovering the theft, the aggrieved couple called the Denver Police Department and let the authorities know that they could track their stolen vehicle through their smartphones to quickly return their stolen property. However, they were quickly frustrated when it seemed the police weren’t using this advantage.


Friends, auto theft and theft from motor vehicle continues to be a problem in...

Posted by Denver Police Department on Tuesday, February 2, 2021

So, the couple decided to take matters into their own hands. The Gebhardt’s ended up calling an Uber and, using their phones and a few tips from Good Samaritans along the road, recovered Erika’s car themselves. This, they thought with some relief, was the end of their adventure.

They were correct, until Chris’ car was stolen two weeks later on Feb. 3 as the couple was preparing to leave after visiting a friend.

"I couldn't believe that it happened twice," Chris said. This time, the DPD reports that the second theft occurred when the vehicle was left running in the Gebhardt’s driveway. Once again finding the police response lacking, the couple repeated the process from a few weeks earlier, eventually tracking down Chris’ car in an alley.

According to data from The Denver Channel, auto thefts went up 57% from 2019 to 2020, with cases in Denver alone moving from 4,793 to 7,568 between the two years. But our capital city isn’t alone in this trend, car thefts went up in Adams County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County and Douglas County as well. Erika and Chris’ case seems to be indicative of this trend, though there’s no evidence that striking out to find your own car is becoming the norm, either.

In the DPD’s defense, the Denver Channel reported that the department’s “spokesperson said the couple was advised there would be a delayed response due to a high call volume at the time” and that the DPD is always open for feedback if plaintiffs contact them directly.

In the meantime, keep an eye on your cars and maybe consider changing the hiding place of your spare key every so often.

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