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Cortez police report rash of thefts from cars

For the past two weekends, Cortez police have received an unusually high number of reports on thefts from vehicles, according to public information officer Lt. Andy Brock.

On July 15 and 16, about five people reported that valuables had been stolen from their cars. The following weekend, Brock said, eight thefts were reported between Friday and Monday. He said most of the thefts have occurred on the southwestern side of town, and mostly from unlocked cars.

Brock said the police don’t have suspects, but they believe the same person or group of people is likely behind the thefts. Several thefts were reported on East Third and Fourth streets on July 15, and the next week at least two were reported on West Sixth and Seventh streets. Stolen items included wallets, purses, iPods and wedding rings, according to police reports. Some items were later found in a roadway or field, apparently dumped by the thieves, Brock said investigators believe most of the thefts occurred about midnight.

Brock said he doesn’t believe the thieves would have broken into the vehicles if they had been locked.

“It’s mostly crimes of opportunity,” he said. “It’s mostly preventable.”

He said he expects the thefts to continue as long as there are similar “easy pickings,” and he advised residents to remove valuables from their cars and lock their car doors.

“If people would make it harder on them, it would be better for everybody,” he said.

In the meantime, police have increased nightly patrols where the thefts were reported, Brock said.

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