Aurora is issuing get out of jail free cards … for recovered stolen cars in the police department’s impound lot.

The waived impound free is part of an Aurora City Council initiative that gives car owners 72 hours after the time of impoundment to recover their vehicle.

Only victims of vehicle theft need apply. If your vehicle was towed for tickets or parking in a handicap spot, you’re stuck with the bill.

The program took effect last month.

It’s heartening to see the police department promoting the recovery of stolen cars, and brandishing its new powers to punish auto thieves for breaking these laws.

Thanks to Aurora City Councilman Dustin Zvonek, there are now minimum jail sentences for grand theft auto.

Zvonek told Denver7 news these aren’t just property crimes. People are stealing cars in order to commit more serious crimes.

“In Colorado, over the past six, seven years, we’ve seen a systematic effort to decriminalize everything to the point to where we’re decriminalizing crime,” Zvonek said. “I’m not saying we have to throw everybody in jail and lock them up, but we have to have more severe penalties.”

As we reported this week, the Democrat-controlled legislature, with the help of Republicans, has introduced legislation to make changes statewide to car theft laws that fail to punish criminals as harshly for stealing a poor man’s car as they do a rich man’s car.