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BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — New crime data from the Boulder Police Department shows a 189 percent increase in burglaries since March 1, 2020. 

According to Boulder, the increase is not tied to COVID-19.

“It’s a problem that we’ve been experiencing in our community throughout 2020,” city of Boulder spokesperson Shannon Aulabaugh told FOX31. 

In 2020, BPD received 79 reports for burglary. Over the same time period last year, there were 28 burglaries. 

Aulabaugh says the spike is likely due to more people leaving doors, windows and garages unlocked or open. 

Eighty percent of the cases involved buildings left unlocked. Thirty-five percent of the cases involved burglary from an open garage. 

“Criminals have found that it’s an easy target, so to speak, when many of our community members leave their doors unlocked, their garages open,” Aulabaugh said. 

In 65 percent of cases, burglars broke in when someone was present inside the home. Aulabaugh says it is a misconception that you don’t need to lock up when you’re home. 

“That is definitely a misconception. When someone sees an easy target and they’re desperate, they’re going to go for it. And unfortunately, that makes the crime just that much more violating to the victim,” she said. 

Boulder is now reminding residents to keeps doors locked and valuable out of sight to prevent crimes of opportunity. 

Police also urge residents to follow these tips:

  • Thieves are looking for easy access, so always lock your doors and windows, even when you are at home.
  • Close and lock garage doors, even when you are home.
  • Reinforce doors and windows with barricades or security bars.
  • Use motion sensing lights.
  • Ensure your security system is on and working properly. If you don’t have one, simply placing alarms signs around your home can deter a burglar.
  • Don’t hide spare keys.
  • Don’t showcase your absence on social media.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight. Outside, keep things like tools and bikes locked in a garage.
  • Clear landscaping in front of your home that could provide a burglar with somewhere to hide.