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'Astonishing:' Car thieves hit Arapahoe County Republican watch party

Car thieves hit Arapahoe County Republican watch party
Car thieves hit Arapahoe County Republican watch party 02:16

After republicans nationwide made rising crime a central issue in their campaigns, CBS News Colorado has learned some Arapahoe County GOP members experienced that crimewave firsthand after car thieves stole their vehicles while they watched election returns Tuesday night at an Aurora nightclub.

"The irony is definitely not lost on me," said Jimmy Sengenberger, a conservative radio talk show host and columnist, who was at the Arapahoe County Republican party and had his 2020 Hyundai Tucson stolen from the parking lot.

Jimmy Sengenberger said his car was stolen during a Republican watch party on Election Day. Courtesy

Sengenberger said it was "ironic" that it was cars belonging to Republican supporters that were stolen on election night from the parking lot at the Stampede, 2430 South Havana Street, Aurora. He said his was one of two vehicles stolen during the party. 

He said he arrived at the party at about 6:45 p.m. but when he left 45 minutes later to attend another Republican watch party, his car was gone. He characterized it as "astonishing" that thieves hit so early in the evening.

"It appears that James' car was stolen from the Stampede about 7:20p last night," said Agent Matthew Longshore, a spokesman for the Aurora Police Department. "According to James, there is video of a 'light colored' 4-door sedan pulling up next to his vehicles and an unidentifiable person gets in and leaves."

Stampede, 2430 South Havana Street, Aurora, where a Republican radio show host says his car was stolen from on Election Day. CBS

Sengenberger called the thieves "brazen" and said the second car theft victim was also a Republican supporter at the election night watch party.

Car thefts in Arapahoe and Denver Counties have risen by 12% and 19%, respectively, over the last year, contributing to an increase in the rate of car thefts across the metro area and state, according to data from metro area law enforcement agencies. However, in Adams, Broomfield, Douglas and Jefferson Counties, those numbers have gone down over the last year by 2%, 15%, 6% and 6%, respectively.

"But it seems fitting that my car would be swiped from an Arapahoe Republican event on the very night that the Democrats responsible for the policies driving Colorado to #1 in auto theft managed a clean sweep," he said.

"It's something else," said Sengenberger as what he calls a "crime tsunami" hit during the GOP event. He said he has filed a report with Aurora police and noted that seven of his harmonicas were in the stolen car.

Sengenberger said this was the third time he has had a car stolen.

"I'm a glutton for punishment," he said.

RELATED: KIA and Hyundai vehicles an easy target for thieves, and social media is partly the reason why

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