Multiple car thefts reported in Milner; public urged to lock cars, homes
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A string of vehicle thefts in Milner on Tuesday, March 3, has served as a reminder for Routt County residents to lock their cars and homes.
At least eight vehicles have been broken into and more than $1,000 in cash has been stolen, according to Undersheriff Doug Scherar with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office.
The thefts reportedly occurred Monday night or early Tuesday morning under the cover of darkness, according to reports. The break-ins were localized to vehicles parked along Main Street in Milner, which runs south of U.S. Highway 40, and the adjacent Mud Alley.
The thief or thieves took a variety of miscellaneous items, according to Scherar, ranging from wallets to a phone card. One woman lost about $1,300 in cash she left in her car’s center console, he said.
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Another resident reported that two vehicles had been burglarized at his house, with three wallets stolen containing $200.
In response to the crimes, the Sheriff’s Office conducted extra patrols in Milner on Tuesday night. As of Wednesday, no arrests had been made in relation to the break-ins and no suspects had been identified, according to Scherar. An investigation is ongoing.
Scherar suspects the culprit or culprits live in the area. As he explained, the vehicle doors had been left unlocked, which made easy targets for an impulsive string of thefts.
“It’s more of a crime of opportunity, especially when people leave their doors open,” Scherar said of the break-ins.
He described similar theft sprees occurring in Steamboat Springs at condominium or apartment complexes. The cluster of cars in parking lots offer ample chances of finding unlocked doors.
The onset of spring is when local law enforcement officials typically see a spike in theft calls, according to Sgt. Rich Brown with the Steamboat Springs Police Department. He attributes the seasonal rise to warmer temperatures and people leaving for vacation, presenting more opportunities for burglars.
Brown added that the Police Department has not yet observed that spike in Steamboat and has not received reports of vehicle theft recently.
In a smaller community like Milner, which Scherar described as tight-knit, many residents operate under the belief they are more immune to crimes like car burglaries.
“People just don’t think that’s going to happen or hope that’s not going to happen,” he said.
Unfortunately, as this latest string of thefts show, crime can happen anywhere.
“We live in a great, pretty safe community, but people need to lock their homes and their vehicles,” Scherar said.
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