(CBS4) – If you park your car near Denver International Airport, authorities are urging vigilance right now. New data from the Denver Police Department shows car thefts have tripled since 2019 in the region, from 47 to 150 thus far this year.
The impact is being felt far beyond the metro area, for families like the Laymans.
John Layman shared his story with CBS4’s Mekialaya White via Zoom. He makes a living as a farmer in the town of Hayden in Routt County, near Steamboat Springs, with his wife and two young daughters. Using his 2005 GMC Duramax 4-door short bed pickup to haul trailers, water, and livestock is crucial for him. So, when his family went to Denver International Airport for a spring break getaway on March 24 and came back to find their truck stolen from the nearby Quality Inn and Suites parking lot, they were devastated.
“My wife obviously thought I forgot where I parked. That was the first thing that popped into her mind. The second was that it may have been towed, ”said Layman.
From there, his family was stranded for a few days, in limbo and unable to get back to Steamboat. “You’re in a really tough position because a rental car really isn’t going to help you.”
“And it’s been four or five weeks dealing with everything. We’ve spent a lot of time going back and forth trying to figure it out. And not having the necessities for kids like diapers and food and snacks and figuring out how you’re going to get all your stuff back. We had a really big stroller for our youngest child which is why we brought the truck down there in the first place, ”Layman said.
The truck was recovered 13 days later, and it had been stripped, totaled, and littered with drug paraphernalia.
Layman also received a speeding ticket in the mail with someone else driving his vehicle.
“We’re not upset about it, we’re just really hurt that somebody would break into a truck, see kids’ stuff, rip that out. There were kids’ jackets that have their names on them that they got as awards and cowboy hats. Things you can’t replace. You think you’ve got to be a really bad person to just trash all that. You really can’t repair it. ”
The Laymans are asking for help identifying the person driving the truck.
If you have any information, call detectives at 303-657-4300.