Police are working with Crestview residents to form a neighborhood watch in response to about a dozen vehicle burglaries reported last month in west Durango.
The Durango Police Department is also increasing patrols in the neighborhood, but even undercover detectives have so far been unable to catch the perpetrator, said Cmdr. Ray Shupe, police spokesman.
“The police can’t be everywhere at once, so it helps to get citizens involved and on the lookout for suspicious behavior,” Shupe said. “It is helpful for us and gives us more eyes and ears out there.”
The police department will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Durango Community Recreation Center to talk about the thefts. Members of Durango City Council will also be present to address questions about the potential relocation of a homeless camp to a 1-acre lot off Avenida del Sol, adjacent to the neighborhood.
Shupe said the police department will not weigh in on the proposed location of the homeless camp and whether it could lead to more crime in the area.
“I don’t think we have an opinion one way or the other about where it (the camp) is located,” he said. “We will police it regardless of where it goes.”
While police do not have a lead on a suspect in the break-ins, it is believed that he or she lives in the neighborhood or nearby, Shupe said.
“Because of the close proximity of all the break-ins, it is a theory we have,” he said.
Shupe said some of the cars were parked on the street and others were parked in driveways, but all of them were left unlocked overnight.
“This is often a theft of opportunity,” he said. “People don’t think about how quickly someone can get in and out of their car. It usually happens within less than 15 seconds.”