Denver Police Department memo indicates stolen car investigation policy change

DENVER - An internal Denver Police Department memo indicates that the force will be taking a more proactive approach to investigating car thefts.

"As part of a city-wide response to the increase in stolen motor vehicles and the associated crimes that are being committed with the vehicles, we will now be processing all recovered stolen motor vehicle for forensic evidence," the new memo said.

The document was issued 10 days after CALL7 Investigator Keli Rabon reported that thousands of stolen car cases in the city are unresolved, despite evidence recovered by police. In that report, department spokesman Matt Murray told Rabon forensic testing was often considered unnecessary in those cases.

"We don't want to just process fingerprints for the sake of processing fingerprints. We want to collect evidence when it will help solve a crime," he said.

Rabon asked the department about the new memo's apparent change in policy Wednesday. Spokesman Sonny Jackson says the policy outlined in the memo is actually more limited in scope than it seems.

"I talked to the sergeant that put that out," Jackson said. "That was tied to a specific situation we had going on, not for an ongoing issue. It's basically tied for a specific period of time, specific type of vehicles, under specific circumstances."

Even so, a source tells the CALL7 Investigators that other districts are considering the same measures. The memo also made no mention of the change being temporary, or limited in any way.

The document also states that the department will waive all the towing fees for stolen vehicle victims. Past victims who spoke with 7NEWS have paid hundreds to get their car back.

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