Jefferson County, Co. – Catching and arresting someone in the act of stealing property from a car is difficult to do. Most trespasses to vehicles occur during the night, and victims are not aware of it until they leave for work the next morning. Outside of possibly getting a finger print that matches up to someone in the system, deputies usually have very little to go on. Quite often, victims will say they heard something in the middle of the night, or their dog was barking or growling, but they didn’t get out of bed to look out the window.
During the summer months of June through August, 2011, unincorporated Jefferson County experienced 124 trespasses to vehicles. Of those, only one arrest was made while the suspect was in the act. During the month of September, deputies have arrested 10 suspects while in the act. The 10 arrested were from 5 different unrelated incidents. Six of the men are Jeffco residents, in their late teens and early 20’s, with a history of these crimes. They worked alone or in pairs. The other four suspects were juveniles from outside Jeffco working together. In total, the 10 were responsible for trespassing into 27 vehicles, and stealing a substantial amount of property. All 27 cars were left unlocked by their owners.
The reason for the success is two-fold: citizens picking up the phone, and good old fashioned police work. In seven of the arrests, the victims heard a noise, got out of bed, and saw the suspects inside their cars. They called the Sheriff’s Office and deputies quickly set up perimeters and caught the suspects. The other three arrests were made by deputies patrolling neighborhoods, seeing something that didn’t look right, and catching the suspects in the act.
To help prevent becoming a victim, the Sheriff’s Office encourages the following:
Together, we can, and are, making a difference.
- Lock your vehicles.
- Do not keep valuables in your vehicles or in plain sight. GPS units, iPods or MP3 players, cell phones, checkbooks, cash, backpacks, briefcases and tools are some of the most common items stolen.
- Be reactive when you hear something in the middle of the night that doesn’t sound right, and look out the window to ensure you are not being victimized. Do not confront suspects, or yell at them. If they know they have been seen, they will be much harder to catch. Citizens are asked to simply call 911 and provide as much detail about the suspects as possible.
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