Heads up, south Weld County.

The Weld County Sheriff's Office has been seeing an uptick in stolen vehicle reports over the last several years, according to a post on their Facebook page.

They expect these reports to rise in 2020, having received a total of 20 reports so far this year, which is six more than they received by this time in 2017.

In 2019, 107 vehicles were reported stolen (compared to 95 in 2018).

Of the vehicles stolen last year, officers recovered 82% of them, which they say is "on par with or better than law enforcement agencies in the Denver metro area."

However, the above data only refers to vehicles that were reported stolen from Weld County.

According to officers, Weld County is also a dumping ground for vehicles stolen from other areas of the state.

In this year alone, deputies have recovered 19 abandoned stolen vehicles.

101 abandoned stolen vehicles were recovered in 2019, up from 81 recovered vehicles in 2018.

Along with stolen vehicles, officers are also seeing an increased number of burglaries.

Most of these crimes are taking place in south Weld County, near U.S. 85 east of Fort Lupton to Hudson and south to Lochbuie.

The Facebook post states that a majority of these reports are "crimes of opportunity," as many of the stolen vehicles were unlocked (some even had keys in the ignition).

A lot of the burglarized homes also had unlocked doors, unsecured windows, and open garages.

"Crime prevention begins with you; don't be a victim by choice," said Weld County Sheriff's Office Patrol Division Capt. Alan Caldwell in the post. "Make sure your homes are secure when you leave for the day and your cars are locked when you come home at night."

Officers are asking residents to be extra alert during the spring season, as vandalism, theft, burglaries, and other crimes often increase with the warmer months.

If you see any suspicious activity, dial 911. In the case of a stolen vehicle, make sure to note the license plate.

Criminal activity can also be reported by calling the Weld County Sheriff's Office at (970)-356-4015.

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