The recent rash of smash and grab burglaries in Parker and other Metro Denver areas look to me to be targeting mostly small store front businesses. They break out whatever windows face the street, enter and try to grab the cash drawers.
My guess is they pick their targets based on them being small retail or food businesses. They of course are avoiding bigger businesses that probably have more security, particularly burglar alarms. None of the news accounts have mentioned alarms. Several did have video systems but hoodies and ski masks protect them from these. They have stayed away from places that are well lit at night – and where there are all night businesses with traffic in the parking lots. They are obviously not looking for large pots of cash, most of their targets would have no more cash on hand than is required for making change to the customers coming in the morning. They did not seem to be interested in any merchandise that would been easier to track when the had to convert it to cash.
They seem to be young opportunists, using rocks and their feet to break in. This means that if stopped on their way to the break in, they have no weapons or tools on them.
They obviously have a car but don’t seem to have parked too close to the target business. Some of the cash drawers were found dumped in a local church parking lot. An unlighted parking lot with no close by homes. Also significant, that church is off Parker road and an unlikely spot for most people to even know about – unless that were traveling that road to get out of the area without being on the well lit and more heavily traveled Parker Rd. What is up that road – a back route into Aurora, with no traffic and very few lights and a quick exit from Parker and Douglas County – the jurisdictions where the break ins happened. Less likely the Aurora PD or Arapahoe County Sheriff would be alerted.
I haven’t looked at the break ins reported in Arvada and Lone tree but if they are related, it seems the locations are also located near city and county boundaries where a jurisdictional jump is easier. There don’t seem to have been any reported in Aurora or Denver – both with large police departments.
What could be done to prevent these? Better lighting might help. Not much else – they did not seem to be doing much if any planning, so signs saying no cash left over night probably would not help. Maybe eliminate any rocks or other objects near the doors and windows. Alarm systems, with loud interior and exterior bells or sirens might scare them off but probably not before much of the damage happened. Even an empty cash drawer outside of the cash register did not deter them. Not leaving cash where smash and grab punks can get it will help deter future punks. If there is no pay off the word will get around.
It was surprising that they hit the same area of Parker two days in a row. That was careless and speaks to their laziness and low intelligence. They seem to have some street “smarts” – not carrying break in tools and dumping the cash drawers quickly. The hoodies and masks as well. But they are stupid in targeting businesses where the likely cash take will be $100 or so. I would not be surprised if these idiots were from Aurora, maybe Denver. Street punks. They will either get caught or graduate to something more dangerous or with higher “profit”.