2 juveniles arrested in Aurora smash-and-grabs

AURORA, Colo. -- Two people have been arrested in connection to a string of smash-and-grab burglaries that have plagued Aurora area during the last six months. Aurora police say two juveniles were arrested Thursday night and are believed to be responsible for 41 incidents.

Police say it was a tip to Metro Denver Crime Stoppers that led to the arrests.

Business owners are breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Aurora PD Spokesperson Crystal McCoy said, “It broke the case quite frankly. We are very fortunate to have Crime Stoppers as a crime fighting tool. We enlisted the resources of a lot of people, our analysts, our partner agencies, we had patrol officers and other specialized units all a part of making the arrest.”

Sarah Johnston is on the board of Metro Denver Crime Stoppers. “Social media is such a powerful tool. Those images can be spread so quickly. We are on Facebook, Twitter, and when we all work together to get the post and information out, it leads to big breaks in cases. It’s a win win for everyone. When we got a tip and heard the case was solved, it was a huge relief for us, for the community and for business owners. Crimes like that make people feel vulnerable. These business owners are just so relieved the community came forward and assisted in solving this case.”

The clear images came from Dynamic Paintball in Aurora.

Owner Michael O’Leary said, “I’m really happy about the arrest and that the video helped because hopefully it gets them off the streets.”

He said two males and a female were caught on camera throwing a rock through the glass door at the front of his shop on October 14. He said the brazen thieves didn’t even care that there were surveillance cameras around the shop. “He tapped up to the camera, hey there’s a camera here. They still came in. They really didn’t think they would get caught.”

The two suspects have not been identified because they are juveniles. That is why FOX31 has now blurred their faces.

O’Leary said he hopes this sends a message to other potential thieves. “They didn’t get away with a lot. They did more damage than what they did get. It definitely wasn’t worth it in the long run. They did get caught.”

Aurora Police and Metro Denver Crime Stoppers praised the way the community responded.

Johnston said, “People do want to do the right thing. Even if they don’t know the individual, they want to spread it so that someone may come forward with information and do the right thing. We get hundreds of tips every month to help solve major crimes in the metro area.”

She emphasized that callers to their tip line are anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000. The tip line - (720) 913-STOP (7867) - is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. McCoy said, “Cops can’t fight crime alone. We rely on our community to come through and be the extra eyes and ears and to be interested in helping fight crime with us. we really can’t do it without our community.”

A number of metro communities have been hit by smash-and-grab burglaries in recent months, including Denver, Northglenn and Parker, among others. Other agencies are now investigating to see if these two juveniles could be connected to any other cases.

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