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Boulder crime and safety: Watch your 6 and stay frosty

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and look out for your buddies

Bears are a significant criminal element in Boulder, like this would-be thief trying to pull off a dumpster heist.
Courtesy photo
Bears are a significant criminal element in Boulder, like this would-be thief trying to pull off a dumpster heist.

Whenever people find out I am a crime reporter in Boulder, the next words out of their mouths are inevitably: “There’s crime in Boulder?”

As it turns out, there is crime in Boulder. No, the city is not some dystopian hellscape full of roving bike gangs, but we do deal with burglary, theft and some of the general drunken shenanigans that come with any college town. So we’ve put together a list of resources to consult if you do find yourself a victim of a crime or to stay safe in certain situations.

The University of Colorado and the CU Police Department offer a number of resources to help keep students safe so they can enjoy their college experience.

In emergencies, CU’s police dispatch center receives both calls and texts to 911, while their dispatch line at 303-492-6666 can be called in a non-emergency.

Instead of walking alone at night, students can take advantage of resources like the Buff Bus and NightRide, which can be reached at 303-492-SAFE (7233).

Students should also make sure they are signed up for emergency text alerts from both CU and the Boulder County emergency mass notification system at

If someone you know is showing warning signs, such as unusual or erratic behavior, they can be referred to the Students of Concern team at

To help students prepare for a shooting or other “active harmer” incident, CU provides a “shots fired” video with best practice guidelines.

Victims of crimes that are non-emergencies — including theft, graffiti and traffic concerns — are encouraged to use the online system, which is easy and convenient for victims, who can file a report at

To reduce the odds of a stolen bike, police suggest keeping bikes inside whenever possible or locking them in well-lit and well-traveled areas when they are kept outside. Bikes also should be secured with U-locks, not the easier-to-break cable locks or chains.

Owners should register their bicycles with either Boulder or University of Colorado police, which makes the bikes easier to flag if they are located or sold.

CU students can register their bikes at no charge with the CU Bike Station outside the University Memorial Center or online at

Laptops, phones and other electronic devices can be registered at CU’s Telecommunications Center, 1045 18th St.; Boulder Public Safety Building, 1805 33rd St.; Boulder PD Hill Community Police Center, 1310 College Ave.; and Pearl Street Community Police Center, 1500 Pearl St.

Information such as serial numbers and a description of the laptop can help, along with the IP address — which can be tracked by CU if the laptop logs on to the school’s network.

For more information and resources, visit

Oh, and also: bears.

Mitchell Byars: