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Colorado Fire Creates Burglary Opportunity

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July 6, 2012
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Colorado Fire Creates Burglary Opportunity

As someone professionally committed to crime prevention and detection for over twenty years, I’ll admit to a few blind spots relating to specific crimes, where I have very little sympathy for the perpetrators. And one of them is looting. Many people seem to agree that looting is not an ordinary act of theft: in fact, there are anecdotal reports that New Orleans police circulated orders to shoot looters after Hurricane Katrina.

Speaking of looting, like many people across the US, I’ve been following the news on the huge wildfires in the western states – particularly the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It therefore caught my attention when I read of a burglary that happened there. Of course it makes sense, to a burglar: people evacuate their homes, nobody is likely to be around because of the proximity of the fire, and there should be easy pickings. Sure sounds like looting, to me. Here’s the new story.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says two people were arrested for of breaking into a home in an area of the Waldo Canyon Fire evacuation zone. The CBI says agents working on an unrelated investigation about identity theft arrested Belinda Yates and Shane Garrett for the burglary of an evacuated home in Colorado Springs.

Drugs Probably Behind the Burglary - Again

The pair also allegedly had methamphetamine at the time of their arrests in Monument. Yates and Garrett were taken to the El Paso County Jail and are being hard on charges including: second degree burglary, possession of a controlled substance, theft, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and theft by receiving. They're scheduled for court advisement on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Federal Statistics

A 2010 U.S. Department of Justice about the impact of drugs on society cites a 2008 study that found 67.6 percent of male arrestees tested positive for one of 10 drugs, including cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. In 2002, another survey found that 68 percent of jail inmates were abusing drugs and alcohol, and that 55 percent had used illicit drugs during the month before their offense.

It’s tough to concentrate on protecting your home during an emergency, when you’re focused on protecting the lives of your family members. That’s what makes these looting crimes so despicable, in my opinion. That being said, you still want these intruders to move on to the next house – and it’s been shown that the best deterrent to intrusion is a monitored home alarm system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring and smarter interactive features. FrontPoint specializes in these systems: as the leader in wireless home security and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US, that’s our commitment.

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