Rash of burglaries shocks businesses | PostIndependent.com

Rash of burglaries shocks businesses

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

A spate of recent burglaries left some Glenwood Springs business owners shocked and wondering what can be done.The Glenwood Canyon Brew Pub, Eighth Street Deli, Sacred Grounds, Auto Glass Specialists and Fiesta Guadalajara all reported burglaries to police Sunday morning. Among the worst hit was the Eighth Street Deli, reporting $7,000 cash and $3,000 in checks stolen plus about $700 worth of damage. All five businesses in the Grand Central Station shopping area adjacent to Sacred Grounds also said they were burglarized Saturday night or Sunday morning. Charcoal Burger reported a burglary Saturday morning. Some people were frustrated that the media or the police didn’t alert people sooner.”This should be seen as a signal to the decision-makers in Glenwood Springs that small-town growth brings with it another set of growing pains or social problems that could have been prevented or dealt with,” said Sacred Grounds owner Joel Karr. “It’s a sad commentary on what’s happening in our community where you feel like you have to get a security system because a locked door isn’t enough.””Everyone was outraged,” Juicy Lucy’s co-owner Cece Zumwinkle said.Early Friday morning, Zumwinkle said, Juicy Lucy’s lost an estimated $4,000 or more in stolen cash, wine and damages.Someone had broken in through the front door, ransacked the basement for wine and used tools from the basement to try to get into safes. Burglars broke through the wine cellar’s wall after unsuccessfully trying to pry off its lock. One safe was either jimmied open or wasn’t latched completely, Zumwinkle said.The Zumwinkles circulated a letter among businesses and city officials to draw attention to the surprising number of burglaries. The letter criticized police and suggested funds to improve Seventh Street could be used instead to boost funding to the Glenwood Springs Police Department.”A call to 911, by a neighbor, to report people on our roof prior to our robbery did nothing to thwart the robbers,” the letter says. “The police responded and spoke with Franck at the Roxie, and they were told everything was OK. Not really, our front door lock set was lying on the sidewalk and the burglars must have spent hours in our restaurant!”Zumwinkle said Monday she probably would have reworded the letter and didn’t want to bash the police. She said it’s possible the people on the roof weren’t involved in the burglary, and that once the people were inside, there would be no way to see them. The front door also looked normal unless someone walked up to it and looked closely, she added. But she would like to see police out of their cars more walking the streets.”I can’t say this is what happened and (the police) could have thwarted the efforts,” she said. “I think maybe they could have. Once the bars close after 2 a.m. I think there’s very little presence down there.”Police Chief Terry Wilson said police responded to the report of people on the roof, checked the premises and that the people on the roof were gone before they got there. Officers checked the door and no entry was made at that time, he added.”It’s frustrating for us because frankly we need more people,” he said.The police department is short staffed by about five people, he added.Wilson said many of the burglaries were very similar and involved forced entry through doors. Security alarms have benefited businesses as well as making regular money drops. Police will go to any interested businesses to evaluate security and recommend improvements. Wilson asks everyone to report suspicious activity.”I wouldn’t want to say anything more than we have information we are working on right now to develop our leads,” he said.The wave of commercial break-ins comes after police reported an unusually high number of residential break-ins between June and October. Those reduced dramatically after one man was arrested, Wilson said. But someone did report an attempted break-in Saturday morning at a residence on the 500 block of Maple Drive.Karr joked about the Sacred Grounds burglary, saying, “It looked to me like they drank a chocolate milk and had some cookies. If we take anything from this burglary, it’s that they have good taste in bakery items.”Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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