Residents leery of Hillcrest burglar

Police are warning residents to be on the lookout for the Hillcrest burglar.

Over the course of the past three months, several homes in the Hillcrest neighborhood, southeast of Patterson Road and First Street, have been targeted by a thief. The intruder skulks into occupied homes through unlocked doors, typically in the early morning hours.

“We went out the other day and kind of went door-to-door,” said Grand Junction Police Department officer Cory Tomps. “We also gave out fliers to let people know we have had these burglaries up there.”

So far, there have been no late-night encounters between a homeowner and intruder. But it is a concern of the police.

“Property is not worth getting hurt or killed over,” Tomps said.

Police advise any resident who stumbles upon a burglar in action to let him or her take the merchandise and try and get a good description.

The neighborhood has an active neighborhood watch, which has met to discuss the crimes being perpetrated upon their neighbors.

Tomps said there were two burglaries Aug. 22, two more Aug. 28 and another Oct. 5. Police believe all the crimes are related.

Neighbors say they are not overly concerned, but they are on guard.

Joe Bernat, who lives with his wife, Christy Bernat, on Bookcliff Avenue, said he used to go to sleep with the doors unlocked and the windows open.

But since police canvassed the neighborhood last week, his wife is encouraging him to change his ways.

“My wife is very persistent on locking everything up,” he said.

A 78-year-old man, who did not want to give his name, said he’s lived on McFarland Court for 26 years and has never seen anything like the crime wave hitting his neighborhood.

“This is the safest neighborhood,” he said. “It is the kind of neighborhood you are not afraid to go to sleep with your doors unlocked.”

In light of the recent burglaries, he says he now leaves a light on outside, locks his doors at night and pays extra attention to cars driving through the neighborhood.


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