DENVER -- Green Valley Ranch, Montbello and Five Points neighborhoods reported the most home burglaries in the last five years, according to Denver Police Department crime reports reviewed by Denver7 Investigates.
Neighborhoods surrounding East Colfax, Hampden, Stapleton and Westwood took the fourth through seventh places in Denver.
In neighborhoods outside Denver, using other public crime data, Denver7 Investigates found several burglaries in Aurora near Hampden and Chambers and also at Buckley and Illiff.
In Highlands Ranch, several burglaries occurred in the last year near West Mineral Avenue and Southpark.
They also occurred up north near Pecos and West 100th Avenue and in Thornton near 99th Place and Washington Street.
IN-DEPTH: Full stats on neighborhood crime by neighborhood
“You need to make your house the toughest on the block for a burglar,” Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Sickafoose told Denver7 Investigates. “If a neighbor’s house is locked up tight, a burglar is going to move on to the next one.”
Sickafoose has seen burglars choose one of three ways to get into homes recently.
Burglars enter through an unlocked garage and often find another unlocked door.
“A lot of people don’t lock the interior garage door, so they just go right inside your house and can spend whatever time they need,” he said.
Burglars have also been kicking in front or side doors to get inside.
Sickafoose said he’s also seen burglars target sliding glass doors by throwing a planter or pot through the door to get inside.
He suggests people make sure gates to backyards are locked.
“If a burglar is forced to jump over the fence, there is more of a chance a neighbor or someone seeing him jump over the fence,” he said. “It will look out of place in the neighborhood.”
Sickafoose says many homeowners invest in security cameras that cost roughly $200, but there are less expensive options that homeowners should consider in addition to cameras.
He says homeowners can also beef up security by installing three-inch long screws in door plates instead of one-inch screws that usually come standard with a door kit.
He advises homeowners to simply unscrew shorter screws and screw in longer ones. Screws can cost under a dollar, at local home improvement stores.