Surveillance shows theft from unlocked cars in Edwards  |

Surveillance shows theft from unlocked cars in Edwards 

In a social media post, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office urges residents to lock their cars

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, in a social media post, said there has been an influx of thefts that could have likely been prevented by ensuring vehicles were locked. Among them are a series of thefts within Edwards’ Homestead community that are currently under investigation.

The social media post also shared Ring surveillance camera footage of two suspects taking items from unlocked vehicles in a Homestead residence’s driveway. 

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office is seeking community input on the footage, hoping to identify the suspects. Social media posts from the sheriff’s office instruct community members to call dispatch or contact an on-duty deputy if they think they may know the suspects. 

Alternatively, tipsters can remain anonymous by contacting Eagle County Crime Stoppers. 

If a tip leads to the arrest and indictment of any suspect involved, tipsters can earn a cash reward from the Eagle County Crime Stoppers.

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Detective Thomas Wright with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said the thefts are not isolated incidents, and that when people leave cars unlocked, they aren’t doing anything to prevent the theft of items from their vehicle, nor are they working to prevent the theft of their vehicle itself. 

“Colorado is one of the top (states) in auto theft,” Wright said. “The biggest issue we struggle with is most of our stolen cars, if not all here lately, the keys have been left in the vehicle. So, it’s not a challenge to hop in, start it and drive off.”

A shift in security mindset can help prevent such thefts from being so common, Wright said.

“There are some things that we get kind of complacent in,” Wright said. “In the mountains, we think, ‘This is something that would never happen to me.’”

Wright said he understands how many people may not think twice about leaving their vehicle unlocked overnight or while grocery shopping or running into the gas station.

Wright also said that puffing (leaving one’s vehicle running and unattended) is a major contributor to vehicle thefts within Eagle County

“We’re kind of in such close-knit neighborhoods and we know our neighbors, but it’s the people that travel in and out of this area that, you know, cause problems,” Wright said. 

The pattern that Wright identified as most common with stolen cars from Eagle County involves moving cars from the Western Slope to Front Range chop shops or other sources. Understanding this pattern, many law enforcement agencies across Colorado are involved in an auto theft investigators group spearheaded by Colorado State Patrol. 

While law enforcement works to do what it can in theft cases like these, Wright said it is important for community members to understand that the days of leaving one’s house and vehicles unlocked are long gone. 

“We’re just in a day and time where you need to protect your valuables or don’t have an expectation that it’s going to be there,” Wright said. 

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