Avon PD battling car break-ins | VailDaily.com

Avon PD battling car break-ins

J.K. Perry
Presto Utley/Daily file photoThe victim of a Vail car break-in is reflected in a window. Break-ins in Avon have risen in recent months, spurring an increase in Avon police patrols in parking lots.

AVON – A rash of car break-ins with no visible pattern has the Avon Police Department stumped.”It seems like it picks up before the ski season every year,” Sgt. Mike Leake said. “We’ve done a lot of things to combat that with increased patrols and foot patrols” in parking lots.The Avon thieves normally smash windows, open doors with special tools or fish something into a cracked window to get into a car. Stolen items include stereos, CDs, money, wallets and coats. The break-ins occur at night in dark parking lots, Leake said.Since September, 25 cars have been broken into compared to 12 all of the prior three months. From September to November of 2004, just 13 vehicles were broken into. A few suspects have been arrested in the most recent rash, but the burglaries continue.

In November, Kim Teot went to work, parking in the Seasons building’s garage. She parked in the dark away from other cars. “Everything you’re not supposed to do,” Teot said. She left later that day, and the next morning discovered her skis and poles were missing from the unlocked “coffin-style” ski carrier on top of her car.”I’m a very trusting person,” Teot said. “I don’t lock my house or car but that’s my fault. I chalked it up to the beginning of the season and people are coming into town.”Did Teot change her ways?

“My coffin is locked at all times now. I learned my lesson,” she said.Although Leake is unsure, he suspects a group of people are breaking into the cars.Thieves sell the stolen objects to friends and others, Leake said. If a stolen item’s serial number is available, police can check for it at pawn shops, the closest of which are in Frisco and Leadville.Three teens were recently arrested after police spotted them allegedly casing vehicles in a parking lot on West Beaver Creek Boulevard. The men were wearing hooded sweatshirts, and one of them carried a hammer which he tried to hide from police. All three were arrested for possession of burglary tools and second-degree burglary.

Leake recommends people lock their cars and use an alarm system. All valuables, including bags, purses and coats should be removed from the vehicle. A coat left on the seat of a car often indicates to thieves that something valuable lies underneath, Leake said.Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or jkperry@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado

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