JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Two suburban Jefferson County businesses were targeted in smash-and-grab burglaries late Sunday night. The businesses’ owners are hoping the public can help authorities identify those responsible.
Both businesses had surveillance cameras, but neither has any video to turn over to the police.
“It was offline last night. Kind of a crazy situation, but I’m going to make sure it’s not offline anymore,” said 5280 Sportswear owner James Ortega about his store’s surveillance camera.
5280 Sportswear isn’t normally open on Mondays, but Ortega and his wife were there bright and early Monday morning.
“We got a call from our landlord about 6 this morning, that our store had been broken into,” Ortega said.
He opened the store about a year ago, which specializes in amateur wrestling apparel.
“My boy wrestles and my little girl wrestles. So, we’re part of the wrestling community.” Ortega said. “We thought our business was located in a really nice neighborhood, and it just goes to show that bad people are everywhere.”
The suspect, or possibly suspects, didn’t take much — but their quick crime spree just the family-run business around $600.
“They basically took a rock, busted it through the front window, came in, grabbed our small cash box and our cellphone. Then, they left,” said Ortega, retracing the suspect’s path to the back of the store.
It was enough to leave the family shaken and angry.
“You feel violated. You feel kind of scared that this could happen to you,” Ortega said.
The suspect(s) pulled a smash-and-grab on a nearby gas station — Pump Shop & Save — in the same Foothill Green Shopping Center, off of South Simms Street, and then took off.
Last July, eight other businesses in the area were targeted, all in the same day.
The suspects were spotted on multiple surveillance cameras.
This time around, though, they weren’t because both businesses say their cameras weren’t working.
Ortega says the security’s WiFi wasn’t really on his radar in the past.
“I didn’t really think about it because I thought the neighborhood was really safe. I never thought it would happen here — never,” he said.
He hopes this will be a warning to other small-business owners.
“Always be prepared, especially on your surveillance system. If you’re a small business, make sure everything is working correctly because everyone’s a target. If the criminals think you have money, you’re a target. So you definitely want to make sure everything’s up and running,” Ortega said.
5280 Sportswear will have to pay for a replacement door, but plan to open back up on Tuesday.
If you have any information on the crimes, contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.