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Businesses, Police Take Steps To Combat Car Break-Ins

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A sign flashes the message PLEASE REMOVE PROPERTY ... and the next message that pops up is "FROM YOUR CAR." (credit: CBS)

A sign flashes the message PLEASE REMOVE PROPERTY … and the next message that pops up is “FROM YOUR CAR.” (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – With warnings of car break-ins on the rise, police and businesses in Denver’s Baker Neighborhood are trying some new tactics to get things under control.

The warnings about theft are loud and clear — if you head down Broadway away from downtown it’s hard to miss a large electronic sign telling people not to leave valuables in their car. It sounds like a simple message, but it’s little things like this that are helping to combat the car break-ins.

Business has been good in the Baker neighborhood, but with all the patrons that have been flocking to the bars, shops and restaurants crime issues have emerged.

“We’ve had a lot more instances of vandalism and cars broken into and personal items getting stolen,” said Matt Boutwell, a manager at the restaurant and bar Punch Bowl Social.

Boutwell said cars in their lot have been a target since they moved in.

“Opening night it happened. We had a staff car that ended up getting broken into,” he said.

Fighting back has been a collaboration between businesses and police. Sting operations have been under way and at Punch Bowl, police have upped patrols and new security cameras have been installed.

Perhaps the most notible change, though, is the electronic traffic signs DPD has put up urging people not to be a target.

“We’re doing anything we can do,” police spokesman Sonny Jackson said. “We have signs in the parking lots around town. But this one is a big lit sign. It’s in your face.”

It seems to be working. Compared to last January car break-ins in the neighborhood are down by 25 percent.

“We haven’t had any break ins in our lot within the last three weeks,” Boutwell said.

Police say they will continue to do their part, and will do whatever they can to remind people to do theirs.

“Do not leave things in your car. Thieves want it,” Jackson said.

Police say they have put signs up like the ones that are in Baker in other areas. The latest was in the Green Valley Ranch area, and police also reported a lessening of crime near those signs.

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