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Sheriff warns of proliferation of phone scams

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Hotline available for county residents

By Daniel Laverty

 Jeffco Sheriff Ted Mink reported that phone scams and identity theft are on the rise, in his second-quarter report to the county commissioners on Aug. 5.

“With a nationwide increase in frauds, (the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office) is streamlining its approach with the use of a fraud reporting hotline,” Mink said in his report.

Over-the-phone scams in particular have been on the rise, Mink said. 

“We have been inundated with calls and reports,” Mink said. “That’s why we created the fraud hotline.”

The hotline — 303-271-5550 — was started in January and has received 230 calls, Mink said. Concerned residents can call for information or to report a scam.

In other news 

From April to June last year, 2,252 traffic infractions occurred. From April to June this year, that number is down to 1,993. Mink attributed the decline to decreases in department staffing.

U.S. 285 continues to be a trouble area for car accidents, as four U.S. 285 intersections were listed in Mink’s top-10 accident locations in the county: U.S. 285 at North Turkey Creek Road, at Colorado 8, at South Kipling Parkway and at South Wadsworth Boulevard.

The Jeffco Sheriff’s Office joined in the multi-agency response after a June 19 shooting at Red Rocks following a rap concert. Fifty-three Jeffco personnel responded, resulting in more than $12,000 in overtime paid to deputies.

An arrest has yet to be made. 

“When you’re responding to something like that, there are a lot of complications,” Mink said. “(It can be tough) dealing with several different agencies, coordination with (other departments).”

After the shooting, Mink said there was limited information on the shooter. Jeffco deputies stopped cars at each of Red Rocks’ exits to conduct basic searches of vehicles.

“We got several complaints about inconveniencing people,” Mink said. “We were forced to look into vehicles and then get them on their way as best we could. I can assure you we did not overstep our boundary. It was all in the interest of public safety.”

After looking at information presented by Mink, Commissioner Don Rosier noticed that burglaries seemed to double in March every year since 2009.

“As weather gets warmer, people tend to leave their garage doors open,” Mink said. “When (a criminal) enters a garage, by statute, that is a burglary.”

Mink encouraged all residents to close garages and lock car doors.

Commissioner Casey Tighe noticed that drug arrests are at an all-time low since 2010 and wondered if the legalization of marijuana played a role in the decline.

Mink said he didn’t have enough information or data to make that correlation. 

“I think we’re still in a ‘wait and see’ posture (with marijuana legalization),” Mink said. “There’s still a lack of education about Amendment 64.”

Contact Daniel Laverty at 303-350-1042 or  Daniel@evergreenco.com. Check ColumbineCourier.com for updates and breaking news. Follow Daniel on Twitter @LavertyReports.