Crowds of travelers in long queue at TSA Security Check at Denver International Airport over summer holiday weekend.

In this file photo, crowds of travelers stand in a long queue at TSA Security Check at Denver International Airport over summer holiday weekend.

The Denver Police Department is increasing patrols around the parking areas at Denver International Airport amid a rise in vehicle theft, the airport announced Friday.

At least 593 vehicles have been reported stolen this year from the airport and surrounding lots, an all-time high for vehicle thefts in the area, according to statistics from the Denver crime map. 

In 2020, 313 vehicles were reported stolen in the area, according to the crime map. In 2019, there were 256 vehicle thefts, in 2018 there were 298, in 2017 there were 182 and in 2016 there were 141.

Police said the increase in vehicle thefts near the airport reflects a larger issue in the city at-large, with around 1,300 vehicles being reported stolen in Denver since Oct. 1, according to the crime map.

The increased patrols will continue throughout the holiday season as more travelers are expected to park in the airport lots, the airport said. There are more than 40,000 public parking spaces at Denver International Airport.

“Although DEN is increasing patrols, it is imperative passengers take the proper steps to secure their vehicle,” the airport said in a statement.

Officials recommend those parking at the airport lock their doors, roll up the windows, take all valuables and spare keys out of the vehicle, park in well-lit and busy areas and use an alarm system or steering wheel lock device.

Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity in or around airport parking areas is asked to call 303-342-4211 immediately.

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