'A traumatic experience': Denver retailers see spike in brazen theft incidents

The owner of Noemi Boutique in Denver's Montebello neighborhood is speaking out after a recent shoplifting incident at her shop
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Posted at 5:05 PM, Jun 29, 2024

DENVER – A group of businesses in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood say they’re seeing a spike in retail theft and must take extra measures to avoid being targeted.

One of the recent incidents happened at Noemi Boutique at a strip mall in the on the 4700 block of Peoria on Tuesday.

Owner Noemi Yac said three men and a woman entered her store while it was open, grabbed several items, put them in bags, and then left without paying for any of it.

Surveillance video captured their images.

“ [It was] a traumatic experience,” Yac said, in Spanish. “They opened bags and started grabbing belts, hats.”

Noemi Boutique

It’s a concerning trend that she says has been impacting her neighbors, too.

"I'm not the only victim,” she said.

Next door, at Boost Mobile, employee Leslie Sandoval said they’ve also been impacted.

“We’ve been noticing the crime rate go up as far as theft,” she said. "It’s gotten definitely worse. They’ll take headphones and leave boxes empty, basically snatching stuff and walking away with it.”

Sandoval said they’ve had to take additional measures to secure their items.

“We tape the speakers now, and we leave them empty; we used to have them displayed,” she said, adding that they’ve also increased the number of security cameras.

Theft at store

“We're busy. This is one of the busiest stores, as you can see. So we don't have, we don't have a way to always keep track of what really goes on,” said Sandoval.

Back at Noemi’s shop, she hired private security after this week's incident.

“What happened, happened, but hopefully there will be justice,” she said.

Other businesses in the strip mall told Denver7 off camera that they are also concerned about the recent uptick in crime.

The Denver Police Department could not confirm if this specific strip mall will see an increase in patrols but said any business owner can call to request additional patrolling in the area.

'A traumatic experience': Denver retailers see spike in brazen theft

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