GREELEY -- The Weld County Sheriff's Office said new strategies have helped deputies stem an increase of property thefts.
Sgt. Tim Schwartz said his office saw a 21 percent increase in the number of property thefts in 2012. Most of them were battery thefts, copper thefts and scrap metal thefts. Schwartz said rising prices in the scrap metal industry makes those commodities attractive to thieves.
In October, Schwartz said deputies became more proactive in their approach to solving these sorts of crimes.
"The deputies would direct their efforts to known offenders. Deputies also partnered with local businesses to gain information about possible suspects in these crimes," Schwartz said.
In January, the sheriff's office formed a task force of deputies to investigate property crimes and to use a crime fighting tool called Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety.
"DDACTS uses geomapping to identify areas that have high incidences of crime and traffic related issues," Schwartz said. "The task force along with patrol deputies focuses their attention to these areas to reduce crime."
Through the first 2 1/2 months of the year, deputies arrested 50 people, Schwartz said. One person deputies would like to find is 19-year-old Charles Hunnel. Schwartz said he has several outstanding warrants. Contact Dana Mellon at 1-970-356-4015 with information.
"This is an ongoing effort and the Sheriff’s Office would appreciate any help or tips you may have regarding these crimes or offenders," Schwartz said. If you witness any crime being committed, call 9-1-1. Also, call Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit their website at www.nococrimestoppers.com.