Steamboat Springs A flurry of burglaries has officers urging Routt County residents to lock their cars and homes and keep valuables out of sight.
"We've got two things going on," said Ken Klinger, an investigator with the Routt County Sheriff's Office. "We've got an incredible number of residential burglaries. I think I'm safe to say we've had four or five residential burglaries in the past 10 days. : The other thing, we're having a huge rash of car break-ins."
Klinger said the residential burglaries have been focused in the Stagecoach and Clark areas of the county, while the automobile thefts have been concentrated in the west of Steamboat Springs area and Milner.
Klinger said the residential thefts are occurring during the day.
"We believe they're daylight and what they're doing is they're kicking the doors in," Klinger said.
When asked what is being taken from the homes, Klinger said "everything." Specifically targeted items appear to be cash, jewelry, electronics and guns.
"We've checked pawn shops," Klinger said. "We're not seeing anything in the pawn shops."
The cases may be related, Klinger said, and he has a theory about who might be behind them but would not be specific.
"The Sheriff's Office believes they may be related," he said. "We do have some thoughts on the residential burglaries, and we're working some angles."
The automobile burglaries also appear to be related, Klinger said, due to their proximity and the method used to get inside the cars. Klinger said robbers are first opening the vehicles' hoods and cutting alarm wires.
"There's definitely a pattern there," Klinger said.
Electronics such as digital music players have been particularly targeted.
"People should lock their doors on their house and their cars," Klinger said. "If they see anything of value that they can sell or pawn, that seems to be the attraction."
Four thefts were reported Tuesday, according to dispatcher reports. Three were reported in the 27300 and 27400 blocks of Brandon Circle west of Steamboat and one in the 300 block of West Lincoln Avenue in Hayden. Hayden Police Chief Ray Birch said the Hayden theft was of an all-terrain vehicle. Besides that, Birch said Hayden's thefts have been fairly incidental and have not involved any homes or automobiles.
Two thefts were reported in Milner on Monday morning, according to dispatcher reports. Steamboat Police Capt. Joel Rae and Director of Public Safety J.D. Hays said they are not aware of any recent thefts similar to those being seen in the county.
Although it may stand to reason that there would be an upswing in burglaries this time of year as many Routt County residents take mud season vacations, Klinger said that has not been the case in the past.
"Coming this fast and this heavy," he said, "this is pretty new."
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