Vehicle burglaries increase in Colorado Springs

Break-ins up 20 percent, police say

POSTED: 09:23 PM MST Dec 20, 2012    UPDATED: 12:23 AM MST Dec 21, 2012 

A business being targeted four times in the past two weeks could be part of a rash of vehicle burglaries in the Colorado Springs area.

Police said vehicle break-ins have risen 20 percent since last year.

The owners of Codak Kitchen and Bath on Waynoka Road on the city's east border said someone broke into their two delivery trucks and siphoned gas four times between Nov. 26 and Dec. 13.

"They broke the driver window the first time," said co-owner Debbie Knoll.  "They thought there was a tool on the seat.  There was a box that was empty, so that's what they broke in for.  Then they siphoned the gas out."

Knoll said the store's surveillance cameras show a man and woman, in either a green or white truck, in the parking lot at the time of the burglaries.  She and her husband, Keith Knoll, have given the photos and a partial license plate number to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

Waynoka Road is partly in county and city jurisdiction.  Lt. Jeff Kramer of the Sheriff's Office said deputies are patrolling the area more.

Police said thieves look for valuable possessions in vehicles to sell for drug money and can steal those possessions in as little as 15 seconds, making arrests difficult.

"Windows are being broken out," said Sgt. Mickey Finn, a burglary detective.  "Purses and computers are being left in cars, and we're finding a large number of cars that are left unlocked.  I understand the frustration because my wife's vehicle was broken into earlier this year."

Finn said vehicle owners can deter burglars by removing valuables and keeping vehicles locked.

"If you're a victim, you need to be patient," he said.  "Understand that officers are looking into the cases.  We're trying our best with the manpower we have."

The Knolls are offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect or suspects.  The couple has a partial tag number from one of the suspicious trucks beginning with 657 and ending with JX.

Contact the El Paso County Sheriff's Office if you have any information about the case.