Burglaries on rise in Carbondale | AspenTimes.com

Burglaries on rise in Carbondale

Jeremy Heiman
Carbondale correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” Has Carbondale’s small-town feel been tarnished by several random burglaries to businesses and homes in the past year? Some locals think so.

This year’s crimes don’t match the 2007 spree of close to 40 burglaries in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt ” in which eight individuals ultimately faced charges ” but this year’s incidents have been enough to unnerve victims and their neighbors.

Restaurant Six89 was burglarized in late May, the same night Ella, another restaurant on Carbondale’s Main Street, reported an attempted burglary, according to police reports.

Lari Goode, co-owner of Six89, said the restaurant was entered by way of an upstairs window. Law offices on the second floor were also burglarized.

The restaurant didn’t lose much, Goode said, because most of its customers pay by credit card, and there wasn’t much in the way of cash receipts. The thieves were able to break into a safe and took $450 in cash tips belonging to the wait staff. Goode said it appeared the burglars had been in the restaurant for hours.

Six89 was entered again in mid-October, said Goode, who thinks someone hid in the building until closing time. Again, not much of value was taken.

The owners have since added new locks and a security camera system.

Three other restaurants in Carbondale also reported burglaries around the same time as the first Six89 break-in.

Goode said the crimes should receive more attention, so business owners and residents know they should take precautions.

“We would have made some changes then if we knew they were starting to hit restaurants,” Goode said. “People need to be a little more conservative than they’ve been in the past.”

Dos Gringos Burritos is also among the local restaurants that have been burglarized, including one break-in last spring, said co-owner Nelson Oldham. The eatery was also hit during the 2007 spree; two people confessed to that crime.

Oldham has concluded it’s not as important to keep thieves out as it is to make sure nothing of value is available for the taking.

“You can open any door if you have enough time and a big enough pry bar,” Oldham said.

Other more recent burglaries have taken place at the Ross Montessori School and nearby Balentine Carpets.

Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling said a burglar entered the Balentine Carpet building by breaking a window, and stole cash and credit card receipts.

Residential burglaries have also been on the upswing. Two neighboring homes on Carbondale’s northeast side were entered during the day on Oct. 23. Jewelry and electronic equipment, including a laptop computer, a camera, a video camera were among the items missing. One of those houses was unlocked, Schilling said.

Schilling said there are no suspects in the residential burglaries.

A resident in Crystal Village, who did not want to be identified, told the local newspaper, The Valley Journal, her house was entered during the day on Nov. 7. She said the front door was open when she came home, and she usually locks the door. The only thing missing was her passport, she said.

“The police have been very responsive, at least in my case,” she said.

Overall, according to police department calculations, Carbondale police had investigated 30 burglaries as of mid-November ” up from 24 for all of 2007.

“If the opportunity isn’t there, a lot of these wouldn’t happen,” Schilling said.

“Be alert,” he added. “If you see suspicious people, give us a call.”

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