Christopher Watts sentenced to life in prison for deaths of pregnant wife, young daughters

Smash-and-grabs continue to plague metro Denver

DENVER – There have been 43 smash-and-grab burglaries in Denver since August 1, according to police. That includes six reported early Thursday. Within the past two weeks, smash-and-grabs have been reported in Arvada, Parker, Centennial and Aurora. Police in Aurora were called to three smash-and-grabs early Thursday alone.

“It makes you feel a little vulnerable,” said Ben Briggs who owns Mixing Bowl Cookie Dough in Aurora. “We’re going to put additional security measures in place.”

Earlier in the week, seven businesses were hit in Parker. Another eight were hit in Arvada last week. Los Dos Portillos Mexican Restaurant in Centennial was targeted at some point between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. There have been 17 smash-and-grab burglaries in Aurora within the last month, according to police.

“We do have a pattern that we have established here in Aurora and in the metro area,” said Sgt. Bill Hummel with the Aurora Police Department.

Hummel released pictures of smash-and-grab suspects that could be responsible for as many as 30 thefts since the beginning of June. Officers in Denver and Aurora insist they are working with neighboring agencies -- comparing notes -- hoping their investigations will lead to arrests.

“[Investigators will] be in contact with the other detectives and try to figure out how they can catch these people,” said Denver Police Technician Jay Casillas.

Meanwhile, officers want everyone to not be shy about calling police when we see something out of the ordinary.

The targeted locations have primarily been family-owned businesses. Police are reminding business owners to clear out cash registers before closing down for the night. Officers also recommend leaving empty drawers open and visible from outside windows to deter would-be crooks.