Boulder Police: COVID-19 Boosts Burglaries, Tips to Secure Your Property

The Boulder Police Department is warning residents of an increase in burglaries since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. KGNU’s Roz Brown spoke to a Boulder officer who says most are opportunistic crimes being committed by a thief taking advantage of those sheltering inside their home.

Listen to the report below:

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    Boulder Police: COVID-19 Boosts Burglaries, Tips to Secure Your Property KGNU News

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Mitch Trujillo is Boulder’s Community Services and Crime Prevention Officer and says between March 1 this year and April 10, there were 79 burglary reports. That compared to 28 during this same time period last year.

“About 80 percent of those burglaries were residences that were unlocked, and more than 60 percent occurred when people were at home,” said Trujillo.

Trujillo says stay-at-home orders have led some bad actors to exploit the COVID-19 crisis because there’s less foot traffic and neighborhood activity.

“One of things we often see with opportunistic thieves is that even if the residence is locked-up, locks can be inadequate and doors can be easily forced,” said Trujillo.

“Sometimes people might be home but in a different part of the residence and leave the front door unlocked but their window blinds are open and in plain view is a laptop on a coffee table – anything that is easily portable and has value – those things take off and grow legs.”

Trujillo says Boulder homeowners have reported missing bikes or other valuables stolen from garages.

“Sometimes you have a detached garage and it’s not visible from the house or several people are using it and security is lax and not being monitored – so if you can’t see your garage but you’re at home, you should lock it up because sometimes people just run in and grab a bike and take off.”

Theft from un-locked or open garages accounted for 35% of the reported burglaries in the past month. In comparison, in 2019, there were a total of 28 burglaries during the same time period.

He adds that it’s not just homeowners, but Boulder businesses that have reported break-ins.

“Often businesses haven’t audited their keys or changed their locks in a long time and former employees still have keys, so those are safeguards you should take,” said Trujillo.

He notes that Boulder is normally a safe community, but these are not normal times.

“We have residences that have been burglarized because homeowners kept tools and ladders in plain sight for potential burglars to use, so look around for ways to protect your valuables.”

(Image Credit: Image by fsHH from Pixabay)

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    Boulder Police: COVID-19 Boosts Burglaries, Tips to Secure Your Property KGNU News

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