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Something You Can’t Do in Grand Junction Anymore, Leave Your House Unlocked

Front Door Key

If you lived in Grand Junction in the 1970s, it probably never occurred to you to perform this act. It seems as though that bit of innocence is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Here’s another piece of Grand Junction nostalgia that has gone the way of the Dodo.

Shortly after 9 o’clock last night, a Grand Junction family came home to their residence on the 1400 block of Rood Avenue to find their home broken into. When police arrived, they found the front door damaged, blood all over the house, and a suspect inside holding a weapon.

My family lived in a house exactly two blocks from this residence from the late 1960s through 1971. My grandparents lived in a house exactly one block from this residence. Looking back, I don’t recall my parents or grandparents ever locking the front door. It simply wasn’t a concern for most people.

Grand Junction Downtown
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(Tan arrow indicates the block where last night’s break-in occurred. Yellow indicates the┬álocation of my home and grandparent’s home in the late 1960s.)

In the event a Grand Junction resident actually took the trouble to lock their doors, chances are they kept a key on the ledge above the door, or at the very least, in the flower pot next to the door.

In 1971, my grandparents moved to the top of Little Park Road. Once up there, they didn’t even close the door, let alone lock it. They were more concerned about Mountain Lions than burglars.

Life in Grand Junction was a little different in the early 1970s. Of course, those of us living here at the time received a real wake-up call when a piece of work by the name of Ted Bundy came rolling through town in the mid-70s. In a matter of minutes, my parents went from not locking the door to sleeping with a gun under the pillow.

Times have changed. Of course, there are a large number of great things that have come with time. Whereas Grand Junction used to offer a small Junior College, it is now home to a competitive university. The community enjoys several excellent hospitals and access to specialized care. Time and growth have brought about very desirable changes.

There is, however, this matter of no longer being able to leave the house unlocked. As a landlord, I’ve added deadbolts to all exterior doors on my properties. For that matter, the frames have been reinforced, and in most cases, wooden paneled doors have been replaced by aluminum doors.

With this recent event on Rood Avenue, it seems as if times have certainly changed. In the 70s, someone getting their bike stolen made the local news section of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. A two cent hike in gas prices made the front page.

In 2017, an armed intruder barely makes the blog on the backend of the GJPD Facebook page. With growth, it seems as though Grand Junction has been forced to say farewell the small town benefit of leaving the doors unlocked.

NEXT: Colorado Sheriff is Literall 'Unarmed'

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