Over the past week there has been a spree of vandalism in Stapleton, the biggest incident occurring on Sunday, Aug. 30.
Between 8:15 and 9pm on Sunday, three juveniles ages 13-16 carrying backpacks vandalized seven properties from the 7900 to 8400 E blocks along 23rd to 25th Avenues in Stapleton, says Lieutenant Bob Wyckoff of District 5. They reportedly ran, screamed, jumped on vehicles, and threw rocks through windows.
Stapleton resident Dan Oltersdorf was putting his one-year-old to bed in the upstairs of his home when he heard a loud crash. He ran downstairs to find glass all over his first floor from a rock that had been thrown through their sliding door. “It was shocking. It happened so quickly,” he said. His wife was already on the phone with the police.
Three other houses on the same block also had rocks thrown through windows. There were no injuries. This was the first incident of this type of vandalism in Stapleton, according to Lieutenant Bob Wyckoff of District 5.
During this time, the police say there was a high call volume to the District 5 Police Department for other reports in the area and officers responded as quickly as they could. Meanwhile, residents gathered outside and pieced together information. One resident actually saw three suspicious-looking individuals and followed them on his bike to confront them about the situation, but they took off running. In hindsight, he would’ve let the police track them down.
As of September 2, five other broken window incidents had occurred in the 2300 to 2500 blocks of Syracuse St.
“We’re not in some utopia out in the suburbs,” Oltersdorf says. “Yes, Stapleton is a great neighborhood, but we have chosen to live in a city and with that sometimes comes crime.”
Crimes of opportunity, or preventable crimes, are perfect for burglars, offering little risk and big reward, according to Wyckoff. He says there are things neighbors can do to deter these easy crimes.
Wyckoff advises residents to:
- Use a padlock on a gate
- Remove valuables from cars, lock doors, and never leave an unoccupied car running
- Close and lock the garage
- Be aware and pay attention to things out of the ordinary
- Call and report unusual things- don’t be reluctant
- Leave porch lights on; light is a great deterrent of crime
A detective has been assigned to the case and has leads. To contact District 5 with any information, call 720.913.1400 or e-mail Dist5@Denvergov.org.