September 28, 2023
Most people see the winter holiday season as a time of celebration. Thankfulness. Togetherness. Joy and cheer. For the Denver police and others in local law enforcement, though, it is also a time that brings a huge uptick in the number of theft cases they have to handle.
Some of these cases are truly unusual, like the young adults that recently got caught on camera stealing Christmas decorations. Or the man who allegedly stole over $7,000 worth of Christmas trees from an El Paso County nursery last year.
Those types of crimes are fairly rare though.
So where does the big uptick in thefts come from? What are law enforcement officials really looking out for during the holiday season?
Common Christmas-Season Thefts That Cops in and around Denver Look For
Many of the most common holiday-season thefts are things that occur year-round. The difference is that there tend to be a lot more of them during this time of year.
What are law enforcement officials paying attention to?
Home break-ins. With shopping, holiday parties, vacations, and other last-minute errands that tend to crop up during this season, break-ins tend to increase because homes are often seen as easy targets full of high-value items that can be stolen and resold.
Police work hard to make homeowners aware of this issue and put deterrent measures in place. Additionally, in some cases, neighborhood patrols may be increased.
Car break-ins. Back seats and trunks full of expensive gifts. Purses and wallets accidentally left on seats. Doors simply left unlocked as people rush from place to place.
There are many reasons why cars may be targeted by thieves – particularly at places like shopping malls where people are more likely to be rushing around or dropping bags in their vehicle before returning to stores.
Shoplifting and employee theft. You probably knew this one was coming. With high gift-giving expectations and stores focused on drawing in big crowds and selling as much as they possibly can in the shortest possible amount of time, there is both opportunity and motive for customers and employees alike to steal, and many try to do just that.
In recent years, however, many stores have realized just how much they lose to theft and started paying a lot more attention to these types of crimes. Penalties for shoplifting can be quite severe.
Package theft. These days, more and more people buy gifts and have them shipped to their homes. It is incredibly convenient for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to physically go to shops. Unfortunately, having packages just sitting outside of houses is also incredibly convenient for anyone looking to steal them.
It has gotten to the point that some people actually follow delivery trucks around. They wait for them to drop off package, then swoop in and take the ones that don’t get picked up immediately.
Identity theft. For the last one, we return to the internet. Technically, someone can physically steal your credit cards and use them, but most of these types of crimes now occur online with thieves uncovering account information and credit card numbers and then racking up purchases before victims even realize there is a problem.
By hacking into the databases of large online sites, it is not uncommon for thieves to gain access to the personal information of thousands – or even millions – of people.
Pick-pocketing, purse theft, and luring. We’re lumping these types of thefts together because they all involve physically stealing from a person in some way. You are probably well aware of how pick-pocketing and purse-snatching works, but luring is likely new. Here’s what police say thieves do:
They place fliers (or, in some cases, even money) under the windshield wipers of cars. When people stop to remove or take the items, they approach and steal both what the person has on them as well as the vehicle.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself If You are Accused of Theft over the Holidays
With law enforcement officials actively watching out for these types of thefts, a lot of people can get caught up in the net, and the penalties may be quite severe. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, the best way to protect your family and future is to get in touch with a knowledgeable Denver criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
He or she will be able to explain both your charges and the options available to you and help you come up with the strongest possible defense strategy to minimize the consequences you face.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.