All this cold weather is believed to be a factor in home break-ins across Mesa County.
The sheriff's office says reports from neighbors are helping to stop people from trespassing and staying inside vacant homes.
Out of all the home break-ins being reported lately, authorities say the people responsible aren't usually thieves. They’re people squatting or looking for a warm place to stay.
It’s typically happening in empty or evicted homes.
If squatters are found they receive a trespassing warning, if it happens again they'll get a ticket, and it just escalates from there.
Also, if they're damaging property or stealing things it would lead to additional charges.
“A lot of the time neighbors are calling because they're seeing suspicious people around a home,” Heather Benjamin, with Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, said. “We’re typically catching them there or we're stopping them from coming back. Really the credit goes to the neighbors or neighborhood watch.”
The sheriff's office says if people know the neighborhood is being watched trespassing is less likely.
It urges people to keep an eye on vacant homes and recommends locking all doors and windows.
Taking those simple steps tends to alleviate a lot of problems.