Rash of burglaries strikes Glenwood
October 23, 2007
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A recent spate of burglaries has shocked some Glenwood Springs business owners.
The Glenwood Canyon brewpub, 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 the theft of $7,000 in cash and $3,000 in checks, plus about $700 worth of damage.
All five businesses in the Grand Central Station shopping area adjacent to Sacred Grounds also reported burglaries 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,” said Cece Zumwinkle, co-owner of Juicy Lucy’s, which reported an estimated $4,000 or more in stolen cash, wine and damages on Friday morning.
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According to Zumwinkle, someone broke 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, she 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 that funds to improve Seventh Street go 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 that 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 and 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.”
Chief Terry Wilson said police responded to the report of people on the roof, checked the property and that the people on the roof were gone before they got there. Officers checked the door and there was no entry at that time, he added.
“It’s frustrating for us, because frankly we need more people,” he said.
The police department’s staff is short by about five people, he added.
Wilson said many of the burglaries were very similar and involved forced entry through doors. Security alarms have benefitted businesses, as has the practice of 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 commercial break-ins come after police reported an unusually high number of residential break-ins between June and October. Those reduced dramatically after the arrest of one man, 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.”