By Jesse Sarles

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – Authorities in Broomfield apologized on Thursday for using an alert system overnight that some residents found upsetting. The alert was sent to some residents while police were searching for a car theft suspect.

The search started near Jade Street and West 3rd Avenue when police tried to get a driver who was believed to be in a stolen car to stop. The driver got out and ran.

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Police had word from another agency that the suspect might be dangerous, and so they send out the alert through the city’s Code Red system asking residents in the area to “stay in their homes and lock doors and windows until further notice.” They said they thought the suspect might be hiding in backyards and jumping over people’s fences, and they wanted people to know there might be police officers looking for the suspect in backyards. Police were also using K-9s during their search.

The Broomfield Police Department on Thursday afternoon stated on Facebook “We realize that the message caused alarm, and we apologize for that.”

“Please know our primary goal was to alert residents as quickly as possible of the suspect,” they wrote. “…our goal was to avoid any confrontation with community members who may have been startled.”

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Police said they are reviewing the protocols for sending out emergency messages and intend to “communicate more thoughtfully” with future Code Red alerts.

As of mid-Thursday afternoon there hadn’t been any arrests made in the case.

Not all residents were upset about the Code Red.

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“Also, thanks for the diligent search Broomfield PD! Even though it was scary to see you in my yard, I’m glad y’all are doing your best!” one resident wrote on the police department’s Facebook page.

Jesse Sarles