Basalt burglars take the month off | AspenTimes.com

Basalt burglars take the month off

BASALT – Even burglars apparently chill out in the offseason.

Seven Basalt businesses in and around the downtown core got struck by one or more burglars from January through April, but there’s been no activity in May, according to Police Chief Roderick O’Connor. The businesses were all forcibly entered late at night or early in the morning while they were closed. In some cases a pry bar was used and other times it was “a boot to the front door,” he said.

In most of the cases, the petty cash drawer was raided and the thief or thieves made off with $200 or less, O’Connor said, but in one of the cases an entire cash register was stolen and a computer was nabbed in another incident.

“We don’t have any suspects and we don’t have any video, unfortunately,” O’Connor said. Most Basalt businesses don’t have surveillance systems because they haven’t been needed in the past or because of the expense. The cameras do prove effective in solving crimes, though, O’Connor said.

The rash of burglaries started in January when Taqueria el Nopal restaurant was broken into, according to the police department’s records. Local Color, a clothing store, had its cash register stolen during a break-in that occurred in February. Basalt Bike and Ski and nearby Hot Mama’s were hit on the same night later that month. While merchandise typically wasn’t targeted, Hot Mama’s had a computer stolen, according to police records.

Ho Palace was targeted in March. In April, Subway and the Basalt Kitchen Store were victimized.

In addition to the thefts, the businesses sustained varying amounts of damage when the burglar or burglars forced their way in, sometimes resulting in expenses in the thousands of dollars, police reports show.

O’Connor said the burglaries could well be the work of the same person or persons, but that’s unknown. He noted that Tullio Salon Basalt was burglarized last July, but it is unknown if that is related to the more recent cases.

He suggested that business owners and operators secure all cash at night and days when their establishments are closed, such as putting money in a safe or depositing cash at a bank. When possible, leave empty cash register doors open so would-be burglars casing the places can see their efforts would be in vain, he said.

Anyone with information about the burglaries can call the Basalt Police Department at 927-4316.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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