Car burglaries under investigation in Minturn
Items as diverse as a handful of pocket change to stereo equipment to $2,300 worth of ski gear were stolen between 10 p.m., Feb. 27, and 7:30 a.m., Feb. 28, from 10 cars parked along Main Street, Minturn police Chief Lorenzo Martinez says.
“This is very unusual for Minturn,” Martinez says. “There were 10 vehicle break-ins all last year, and that was high.”
But the spree is also a sign that, as traffic increase on both Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 24, Minturn is no longer an out-of-the-way town, Martinez says.
“Some citizens have been here all their lives and I feel bad having to tell them things have changed,” Martinez says.
In many cases, unlocked cars provided thieves with easy opportunities to strike, Martinez says.
“The key is unlocked vehicles provide excellent opportunities – you find an unlocked vehicle and take what you find,” he says. “Most of these were unlocked, unsecured vehicles. I’d like to stress that people should be a little more aware – it’s just a good habit to look your vehicles.”
Nine dollars in coins was swiped from one car, while $900 worth of stereo equipment was taken from another, Martinez says.
The total cost in damage and stolen belongings of the break-ins was more than $5,400, he says.
Because ski gear and other valuables left in the front or back seats can be enticing to thieves, Martinez says, people who insist on leaving their belongings in the car should either cover them or put them in the trunk.
Investigators are not sure whether the 10 break-ins are related to another break-in overnight Feb. 25 and 26. Police also are looking into the theft of a car from the U.S. Forest Service parking lot on Feb. 26.
Police in other Eagle County towns are looking for similarities between the Minturn break-ins and those that have occurred elsewhere in the valley, Martinez says.
“We have gotten some leads and we’re following up on them,” he says.
Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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