Smash-and-grab burglaries on the rise in Denver metro area

DENVER -- An alarming crime trend is beginning to spike. Smash-and -grab burglaries are on the rise in and around the Denver Metro Area.

Early Monday morning, seven businesses were hit in Parker. Last week in Arvada, eight businesses were burglarized.

Denver Metro Police said they have seen 100 smash and grabs since the end of summer. Another business was just targeted in Aurora.

In each case, police say the suspects use large landscaping rocks to break the front glass doors. It’s a big setback for a small business.

“It’s just it’s quick. They are in and out quick,” Mike O’Lear, owner of Dynamic Paintball and Airsoft in Aurora said.

“They picked up the whole cash box threw it up like this.

O’Lear said the crooks cleaned out the twenty-five bucks in the registers and made off with airsoft pistols and rifles.

“This is modeled after a Sig 556. It was probably the most expensive one we had on our wall,” O’Lear said.

About 20 miles South of that store, there was a string of smash and grabs in Parker.

“I got a phone call at quarter to four this morning that the alarm went off,” Ralph Cerminara, owner of Colonna’s Pizza said.

His pizza place, along with five neighboring businesses in the strip mall were all burglarized.

“I’m coming out of Brooklyn, New York where we had a lot of break ins so basically you think you come to Parker, Colorado, a bedroom community and you’re surprised that it happened,” Cerminara said.

On Thursday, businesses in Arvada were burglarized. Ammunition was stolen from the Arvada Army Navy Surplus store on Wadsworth Boulevard.

Just days before that, the Donut Time, also in Arvada was hit.

“See they steal both cash registers,” Donut Time owner, Ismail Elottri said.

While police investigate the crimes, O’Lear is confident that the detailed surveillance footage will lead to an arrest.

“His face is clear as day, we’re hoping that helps,” O’Lear said.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is urging business owners to take steps to deter crooks. They say remove all cash overnight and post signs stating there is no money in the drawers. Set empty cash drawers out so they are visible from the front of the store.

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