MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) - Residents of a quiet neighborhood in the Redlands woke up to a potential crime of opportunity Sunday morning.
Early Sunday morning, a light, fresh snow fell across the Grand Valley. Several residents in a sleepy Redlands neighborhood noticed fresh footprints in the snow, revealing someone had canvassed the neighborhood, walking from car to car in each driveway, presumably testing to see someone forgot to lock their car door.
Neighborhood board members quickly got together and wrote a letter to all residents, informing them of a possible burglar in the area.
Some of the residents say they were quite surprised to see this sort of activity is such an out-of-the-way neighborhood.
Resident Greg Schmitz said, "I looked out at the snow and I noticed footprints going from one neighbor's vehicle to another neighbor's vehicle, and I didn't think anything of it until I got the flier later in the day."
Schmitz added after spotting the footprints, he realized he'd been too complacent. He had assumed since Mesa County Sheriff's deputies regularly perform late-night drive by's, the area would be free of petty crime.
He said, "In the summers, there'd be times I'd pull my vehicle (in the garage) and let it air out because it'd be hot, and I'd forget to shut it, and it'd be open all night, bikes, tools, all that stuff would be fine the next day." But that old habit is gone, he said. "From now on, vehicles get locked."
According to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, there were around 540 cases of reported thefts throughout the County in 2010.