Property theft rise may be linked to drug arrests
Property thefts are up in Grand Junction and local authorities say it may be because of drugs.
Statistics show both crimes have reached a five year high.
It’s a problem that local law enforcement is exploring.
Authorities say the answer may have to do with drug arrests.
Police Chief John Camper, says, "It’s not unusual when we see an increase in drug arrests, which we did this year, property crimes may be going up at the same time. Those are often linked."
The Western Colorado Drug Task Force has been busy over the last year.
"We could probably have a drug task force twice as big as it is and still keep them very busy," Chief Camper said.
Jim Schrant, with the Drug Enforcement Administration, says, "A couple of the particular areas we've seen developing in 2012 and 2013 are methamphetamine.”
The task force also reported year-to-year increases in cocaine, marijuana, and pharmaceutical related arrests.
"As these drug users need to find a way to fund their habits, typically property crimes ends up being the most convenient method for funding for them to keep that going,” Schrant explained. “The drug trafficking organizations that we actively target, they don't care where the money is coming from as long as it’s coming from somewhere."
The police department is in the process of analyzing the 2012 statistics to find ways to prevent both property theft and drug related crimes.
For now, authorities say the best way to protect your belongings is to lock your home and cars.
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