Burglaries, thefts on the rise | CraigDailyPress.com

Burglaries, thefts on the rise

Police suspect individuals or group are on local 'crime spree'

Melinda Dudley

— Steamboat Springs received an unwelcome gift this holiday season – a rash of thefts and burglaries across town, according to police.

In the past two weeks, The Click snowboard shop, Steamboat Hair Co., Steamboat Tattoo and Body Piercing and the Twice as Nice Shoppe all have been burglarized. Thieves have taken an array of items including cash, computers, tattoo ink and needles, watches and bandanas.

Attempted burglaries have been reported elsewhere, including a failed attempt Sunday night or Monday to break into Bear Valley Boot Repair.

Earlier this month, nearly 20 vehicles parked at condominium complexes in the area of Whistler Road were broken into. Police said the vehicles all appeared to have been left unlocked, and small items and cash were taken from the cars.

A car parked at Ninth and Yampa streets was reported stolen by its owner Monday morning. The car had been left with the keys in the ignition, and was gone when the owner returned, Steamboat Police Sgt. Rich Brown said Tuesday.

Police have been unable to confirm whether any of the recent burglaries and thefts are related, Police Capt. Joel Rae said Wednesday.

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All of the incidents still are under investigation, and no one has been arrested in connection with any of them.

Still, it’s clear that either a couple of individuals or a small group of people are on a “crime spree,” Rae said.

A similar string of break-ins happened in 2004, Rae said, when downtown businesses including Backcountry Provisions, Backdoor Sports and Paisano’s were burglarized repeatedly.

In general, criminal activity in Steamboat Springs increases at this time of year, particularly shoplifting and thefts of unattended ski and snowboard equipment, Rae said.

“Christmas is one of the busiest weeks of the year for us,” Rae said. “Lots of people in town.”

People need to be vigilant about locking their vehicles and their homes and securing their valuables, Rae said.

Most importantly, Steamboat residents need to help be the “eyes and ears” and immediately report anything suspicious to the police, Rae said.

“The public’s help is always appreciated,” Rae said. “We’re doing everything we can to bring it to an end.”

Anyone with information about any of the recent burglaries can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 870-6226.