SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Burglars are targeting homeowners and visitors in Colorado’s high country and the winter tourism season hasn’t even hit yet.
A crime warning is now in effect in Summit County for the holiday weekend.
“After living here as long as we have it just became a habit that you got out of the car and go inside. Now I get out of the car and lock it,” auto burglary victim Eric Vogt said.
It took getting his car burglarized two different times for Vogt to learn that lesson.
“The glove box had been gone through, stuff was all over the seats, you knew someone was in the car,” Vogt said.
Vogt’s two cars were rummaged through earlier in November, and his family isn’t alone. Summit County sheriff’s deputies have responded to more than a dozen auto burglaries just in November — a steep increase in a community where residents usually feel safe.
“There really is no violent crime to speak of any sort. That’s one of the main reasons we moved up here, so we don’t have to lock our doors,” Vogt said.
Deputies say unlocked cars are like donating to thieves. That’s the problem the sheriff’s office says they are having in several different towns.
“Wildernest, Keystone, Dillon Valley, Summit Cove,” Tracy LeClair with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said. “Several vehicles had some large equipment; generators, chainsaws, GPSs, iPods; things like that inside vehicles.”
With the big travel season arriving this holiday weekend, law enforcement is hoping both residents and visitors will be more vigilant for themselves this winter.
“We do have with the holidays people shopping. Our concern is we want people to be vigilant; lock their cars, don’t leave valuables in their cars,” LeClair said.
The crime isn’t just happening in Summit County. There are also reports of increased home burglaries in Vail and Lake County this year.