More stuff is getting stolen in Avon | VailDaily.com
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More stuff is getting stolen in Avon

Steve Lynn
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado
Preston Utley/Vail Daily In proportion to the population, Avon's property crime measures up to Denver's and Phoenix's, according to some Web sites. Allison Hubbard of Avon recently had jewelry stolen from her home.
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AVON ” The last two car stereos Shelley Binnings owned were stolen after her car was broken into twice in Beaver Creek parking lots.

Most recently, Binnings got her wallet stolen from her purse when she turned her back on it for a moment to talk to a friend at Loaded Joe’s Coffeehouse and Lounge one morning.

Binnings says she has had bad luck, but plenty of Avon residents have had their possessions stolen. Reports of theft steadily increased 16 percent in the past four years, according to Avon police.

That’s a departure from the national trend in cities with less than 50,000 people. Property crime decreased 1.2 percent from 2004 to 2005, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Web site.

Police and security could do more, Binnings said.

“The parking lots and parking garages aren’t patrolled enough where things are likely to get stolen,” Binnings said.

And the problem has a lot to do with transient people who don’t care about a community they won’t stay in long, Binnings said.

“They are going to do whatever they want with no respect for the people around them,” she said.

Alison Hubbard used to leave her doors unlocked, but not after $4,010 in jewelry was stolen from her Wildridge home this year.

“I think we live in a pretty safe community and I was dumbfounded to say the least,” Hubbard said.

Among the stolen jewelry was a $500 18-carat gold pin her great grandmother gave her for her high school graduation and some charm bracelets from her grandmother.

“They are pieces that can’t be replaced and unfortunately, they’re both deceased, which is even more upsetting,” Hubbard said.

Nowadays, she no longer leaves her doors unlocked when she walks her dog in her neighborhood, she said.

A lower crime rate was one of the reasons Barbara Bowman moved to Wildridge from Las Vegas a couple years ago. But she sees Avon differently after her $2,500 Macintosh laptop computer was stolen this year.

“In Las Vegas, you’re definitely looking over your shoulder,” Bowman said. “Although it’s not as bad here, I’m certainly more careful,” since her computer was stolen, Bowman said.

Police have increased patrols in Wildridge and that’s one of the reasons Wildridge property crime so far has decreased this year, said Chief Brian Kozak of the Avon Police Department.

But property crime more than doubled in 2006. Eight thefts and one burglary were reported in Wildridge compared with four thefts reported in 2005, Kozak said.

Patrols won’t take care of it all. Residents should lock their cars and homes and call police if they notice anything suspicious, he said.

“Many Avon residents may have a false sense of security in believing that property crime is low,” he said.

Police arrested Ruben Juarez Garcia in connection with the theft of Binnings’ wallet after the owner of Loaded Joe’s provided a surveillance video showing that Garcia allegedly swiped it July 30, according to a police report.

Police did not find Binnings’ wallet on Garcia and he denied stealing it, according to the report.

Binnings still hasn’t found her wallet, with her credit cards and other personal information, despite a day-long search of “every trash can in Avon,” she said.

Bowman found out who stole her laptop and did not press charges; Hubbard’s case remains unsolved.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.


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