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Wash Park Neighbors Change Habits After Sharp Rise In Car Break-Ins

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Bryan Bozeman outside his car in Washington Park on Thursday. (credit: CBS)

Bryan Bozeman outside his car in Washington Park on Thursday. (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4) – In November and December there were 30 vehicle “smash-and-grab” crimes in Washington Park. That’s about one every two days, and it’s more than double the numbers from the same time the year before.

Residents say the Denver neighborhood is an easy target for the thieves. It’s filled with cars that often have valuable belongings inside.

“Look down the street, it’s a candy store for the break-ins,” said resident Jeanne Darst. “They drive up and down the streets, day and night, looking for a car to hit.”

Victims CBS4 spoke to say they have learned to always lock their cars and never to leave valuables inside.

“They tore apart my roommate’s car. They tore apart my car once. It’s unsettling, definitely,” said resident Rachel Nobrega.

Police say they are aware of the number of break-ins and are actively working on the cases, but some victims say they wish police would expand their presence.

“I was shocked at how many cases of this there are. You would think there would be a little more effort to slow it down,” said Bryan Bozeman, whose car was broken into on the street in Cherry Creek just after Christmas and his briefcase was stolen

Bozeman says police never responded in his case and told him to fill out an online report.

While the Wash Park numbers were up at the end of last year, car break-in thefts in more than half of Denver’s neighborhoods were down.

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