DENVER -- Crime is up at Denver International Airport compared to last year, according to a Denver7 Investigates review of police records, but police said the number of crimes is very small compared to the millions of people the airport serves.
Car burglaries, larcenies and assaults are up. However, the total number of crimes reported since January is fewer than 700.
This year, the airport is expecting about 58 million passengers, a more than 7 percent increase from 2015.
“DIA is a very safe environment,” Denver Police Commander Tony Lopez said Friday.
Lopez’s district covers the airport and surrounding areas.
“We are one of the safest airports in the country,” he said.
Lopez believes the increase in passenger traffic contributed to the increase in crime rates.
“I’m not overly concerned about the uptick in reported crimes here at Denver International Airport,” he said.
Car burglaries are up 108 percent from this time in 2015. However, actual numbers show very few reported crimes in that category. From January to November of 2015 there were 24, according to Denver Police records. So far this year, there have been 50 reported car burglaries.
Lopez said his officers recently foiled a ring of crooks breaking into cars.
“We did have a small crime spree in the last couple of months. We identified three individuals who were directly responsible for that.” Lopez said. “Through our investigative efforts we were able to take care of our problem.”
Assaults, which primarily make up the “other-crimes against persons” category, show a 54 percent increase. Year to date numbers show 13 in 2015 and 20 this year.
Auto theft is up 50.6 percent to a total of 122 reported crimes. Many of those reported crimes deal with rental cars that might not have been returned, Lopez said.
He said he has increased patrols by officers on bicycles. They routinely patrol the terminal and parking lots.
“We think that has really contributed to discouraging the criminal element from trying to come out and victimize people,” Lopez said.