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'It’s hurting the community': Wheat Ridge vape shop speaking out after being hit by thieves

Data from the Wheat Ridge Police Department shows the number of burglaries increased by 12% in 2023
Wheat Ridge Business Burglarized
Posted at 5:37 PM, Feb 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 20:29:06-05

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Police in Wheat Ridge are still searching for the suspects who rammed a vehicle into a vape shop earlier this month, stealing items and causing thousands of dollars in damage.

The incident, which was all captured on camera, occurred on the early morning of Feb. 7 at Cloudz Smokes and Vapes, located Wadsworth Blvd. near the intersection with W. 39th Ave.

Wheat Ridge police investigators said three suspects took a dark blue Hyundai sedan and smashed it into the vape shop.

Surveillance from the scene and cell phone video from a witness shows two male suspects shuffling dozens of items from the store into the trunk of the sedan, as the getaway driver adjusts the car.

It took the suspects less than five minutes to grab everything and leave, according to a spokesperson with Wheat Ridge police.

Denver7 spoke with Cloudz Smokes and Vapes manager Steven Shephard, who said the physical damage to the door will cost more than the stolen items, adding the material items are the least of their concerns.

'It’s hurting the community': Wheat Ridge vape shop speaking out after being hit by thieves

"I do think about it often, about like, 'What if that happens while I’m here?' It is scary. I don’t know about concerns about the material items, I'm fearful for me and my employees," he said. "You never know what's going to happen."

Data from Wheat Ridge police shows burglaries increased by 12% from 2022 to 2023.

"Sometimes property crime has that connotation, like, it's not that big of a deal, but to the victim it is. That’s their home and business. They feel violated, we take that incredibly seriously," said Alex Rose, public information officer for the Wheat Ridge Police Department. "It's really about the kind of, 'flavor of the month.' It used to be catalytic converter theft and motor vehicle theft, and we’re seeing those drop down to earth, now we’re seeing more retail theft," he added. "We look at these things, we observe the trends and, we can’t be everywhere all the time, but do we have targeted enforcement, things that we try to do, where we'll partner with some of these shops."

Rose said in this case, they added more patrols near the vape shop after the break-in.

"What we did in this case is, we put extra patrols in that area in the days after that crime just to make sure that A — we’re following up with the business," he said, "But B — we also want to be a physical presence and a deterrent for crime as well, so that is something we commonly do. We direct extra patrols in some of these areas, to give that business a sense of reassurance but also to continue to develop a strong relationship with that individual."

If you have any information that could help in this case, you can reach out to Metro Denver Crime Stoppers. You can leave an anonymous tip by calling (720) 913-7867.

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