“More than usual”
A recent rash of car burglaries in Mt. Crested Butte and surrounding areas has compelled some residents to do something unique for this area—lock their cars.
Mt. Crested Butte police sergeant Nate Stepanek says car burglaries are indeed on the rise. “We do have a rash of them that have been happening, both in Skyland and Crested Butte South and on the mountain,” Stepanek says. He says since July the department has received three or four burglary reports a month, where in past summers only one or two were reported each month. “It’s definitely more than usual. It really has us concerned and we want to get the word out to people to lock their cars,” Stepanek says. The police department reports there are currently no suspects in the burglary cases. None of the vehicles involved in the burglaries had broken windows or serious damage, and Stepanek says the burglars are probably quickly passing through an area searching for unlocked cars. Two burglaries were reported in Crested Butte South on November 5, Stepanek says, and in one instance, a hunting rifle was stolen. Four burglaries were reported during October in Mt. Crested Butte and Skyland. Crested Butte South and Skyland fall in the jurisdiction of the Mt. Crested Butte police department. Stepanek says the burglaries usually occur on the same night in a specific area; for instance, three cars were burglarized on the same September night in the Pitchfork subdivision. Items taken from vehicles include cash, power tools, iPods, CDs, sporting equipment and video games. Mt. Crested Butte resident Phil Price, who reported a recent burglary, says he never would have suspected his vehicle would be searched by burglars. Two weeks ago, Price says, he got in his truck in the morning and noticed that the contents of the glove box were strewn on the floor. “It looked like my glove box had been rifled through,” he says. Price had thousands of dollars of fixtures and heavy construction supplies in the truck bed, which he believes may have encouraged the burglar. “The burglar may have thought, ‘Hey, this guy has all kinds of cool stuff,’” Price says. However, nothing of value in the cab or truck bed was taken, he says. Price says he didn’t think too much of it until he talked to his neighbors. The family had a $1,000 set of golf clubs stolen from their car, along with some other gear on the same night. Both parties reported the burglaries to the police. According to Crested Butte Chief Marshal Tom Martin, the town of Crested Butte has not experienced an increase of car burglaries.