Brazen burglaries in 'staged' homes for sale reported in NE Denver

Police ask public to report suspicious activity

DENVER - Denver police are asking the public to be on the lookout for suspicious activity at homes for sale in their neighborhood. 

A number of burglaries were reported during November at homes for sale in the North Park Hill area of northeast Denver, police said.  The crimes happened at "staged" houses, which are generally vacant houses with rented furniture set up so that potential home buyers can see how the houses will look.  The area where the crimes occurred was between Martin Luther King Boulevard/38th Avenue and Monaco/Quebec.

"They're either taking the lock off the door or actually taking the key out of the lockbox and letting themselves in the home," said Denver police officer Raquel Lopez. "Once they're in they're taking the furniture out, appliances ... basically almost looking like they're the movers."

In December, a new series of burglaries were reported in "staged" homes in the Cole/Whittier/Clayton and North City Park neighborhoods.

"Christmas morning,  about 3:00 in the morning, two vans pulled up and the neighbors never thought to question anybody ... they didn't call the police, " said Ron Oglesby with RPM Builders.  "They thought they were moving in and they broke in and stole the refrigerator."

"We're talking about a full size refrigerator that they just rolled out?," 7NEWS asked.

"Yep, parked right here and they just rolled it right out," said Oblesby.

Home stager Sandi Bass said she had furniture in a home in the North Park Hill neighborhood that was robbed just before Thanksgiving. She said the people came in the first day and took a desk and chair, all items they could lift over a six-foot privacy fence and then returned the next day to take the dining room set and bedding. In that home, the suspects kicked down the door.

Police said they know several people are involved but do not have descriptions of the suspects or cars they're using to take the items.

Ogelsby said neighbors described a white moving van and black pickup truck.

"They're working pretty fast and it's all homes that are for sale," said Lopez.

Police ask that anyone with information on the burglaries contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.  If you see suspicious activities at neighborhood homes for sale, please call Denver police through their non-emergency number at 720-913-2000, or 911 if it's an emergency.

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