By Kati Weis

DENVER (CBS4) – At a time when so many people are struggling financially, CBS4 Investigates has learned cities across the Denver metro area are seeing an increase in burglaries and thefts, and a decrease in drug crimes.

In Denver, there were 514 total burglaries from January through March of 2019. In 2020, during the same time period, there were 596.

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In Boulder, police say from January through March of 2019 there were 87 burglaries. During the same time period of 2020, there were 134.

In Lakewood, police say burglaries are up 21% from this time last year, and in Littleton, burglaries are up 47%.

Littleton police say part of that big increase is due to several burglaries at the Public Storage facility on Belleview Avenue. CBS4 reached out to the company for comment, but has not received a response.

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In Arvada, homeowner Sarah Burgett says a thief stole $20,000 worth of merchandise from her garage while she and her family were sleeping upstairs in the early morning hours on Easter Sunday.

Burgett said the suspect broke into her car parked in the driveway, and used the garage remote inside to open her garage door. For an hour, the crook was caught on surveillance video carrying her valuables out of her garage and loading them into a white Ford F150. (Press play on the video above to see the surveillance video.)

“It’s devastating,” Burgett said. “I grew up in this area, and we are building a new home in this area, and I’m losing faith that we are living in a safe, secure community.”

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Joli Crothers lives a block away from Burgett. Her garage was hit on the same night. She lost $4,000 worth of stuff, and she believes the same suspect is to blame.

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“More than anything, I just feel violated,” Crothers said. “I feel like they took away my sense of security.”

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Crothers said she has since invested in a new security system, and Burgett warns folks to be vigilant. 

“I know times are hard for everybody, whether it be financially or emotionally, times are hard,” Burgett said. “It is unfortunate that we are all in this, and there are some people that take it to another level to cause more harm.”

In Weld County, the sheriff’s office says there has also been a rash of break-ins.

“The sheriff’s office has received reports of motor vehicle and all-terrain vehicle thefts south of Weld County Road 22 between U.S. 85 and Interstate 76,” officials reported in a press release. “The thefts are generally taking place at night and from storage locations.”

Police advise you shouldn’t leave anything valuable in your vehicles at night, including your garage remote.

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If you have any information about the rash of burglaries in Arvada, click here, or call Arvada Police at 720-898-6900. Anyone with information on the thefts in Weld County are asked to call Deputy Mathew Rosten at 970-400-2875.

Kati Weis