Thieves target unlocked sliding glass doors, unlocked gates

Crimes of opportunity rampant during summer months
Posted at 6:29 PM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 20:43:27-04

DENVER -- There's nothing better than dinner and drinks on the back patio on these hot summer nights.

But beware.

“The police said that it’s been happening pretty frequently in Stapleton,” said Arwen Johnson, a homeowner in Stapleton’s Willow Park East neighborhood.

Thieves broke into the Johnson’s home early Monday morning.

"My husband came downstairs to go to work, noticed our sliding glass door was open,” Johnson said. “And then he went to go get in his car to go to work and it wasn't there."

Denver police still haven’t recovered the Johnson’s 2015 black GMC crew-cab pick-up.

“Someone else had the same thing happen to them that night in our neighborhood, as well,” Johnson said.

Police say thieves are focusing on easy targets. Typically, they go through unlocked gates, then through backyards and through sliding glass doors or other patio doors.

Adding insult to injury, the Johnson’s had a family member staying with them that night, too.

"Realized we were also missing our family member's car and car keys and both of our purses," Arwen Johnson said.

She posted the incident on Nextdoor and it opened a flood of comments from neighbors reporting similar thefts.

Denver police offer five simple tips:

1) Leave a patio light on
2) Trim shrubbery immediately around doors so criminals can't hide
3) Lock patio and car doors
4) Don’t post to social media until home from vacation so thieves don’t know you’re gone
5) Put a padlock on gates

"Even though it's kind of an inconvenience to do a combination every time we want to go through our gate, it's just - we don't want to go through this again," Johnson said.