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Colorado neighbors fear crime will close another store at Colfax Avenue and Havana Street

Colorado neighbors fear crime will close another store at Colfax Avenue and Havana Street
Colorado neighbors fear crime will close another store at Colfax Avenue and Havana Street 02:24

A Walmart Neighborhood Market in Aurora closed permanently in June, leaving residents without a grocery store. 

Some neighbors believe it was partly due to crime. Now, some are worried crime will lead to the closure of a pharmacy next door.

The Walgreens located at Colfax and Havana now closes at 6 p.m. Inside the store, several aisles sit empty.

Many shoppers wonder if they'll ever be restocked.

Neighbors like Heath Griffin visit the location more frequently now that Walmart is closed.

"I come here about every other day," said Griffin. "I buy my food here."


Officials with Walgreens told CBS New Colorado that they're not closing the location and that they are "aware of the issues and are working to maintain product availability for customers at this location."

An employee told CBS News Colorado that the shelves aren't being restocked due to theft.

"They have all the major drug heads in this area. They just come in and steal, especially the homeless people from the RTD stop right there," explained Griffin. "I'm a little discouraged, but I have to think positive about my neighborhood."

CBS News Colorado Reporter Tori Mason also saw open drug use occurring in the parking lot.

Steve Sundberg, vice chair of the Aurora's Public Safety Committee, says the area surrounding Walgreens has become a hub for people looking for more than a ride.

"It's an open-air drug and prostitution market," said Sundberg. "The bus shelters, I think those need to be redesigned. I've even spoken with RTD security. They suggest that."

Sundberg says this boils down to unchecked theft and crime. One shopping center in Aurora is losing $1.6 million a year.

"I'm sad about the unintended consequences that innocent residents are going to feel from not having an affordably priced grocery store, or possibly more stores closing. It's looming. It's going to take a lot of people coming together continuously to improve this area," said Sundberg. "Show love for the people who are hurting, but also show some tough love for those that are stealing day in and day out."

Sundberg says Mayor Mike Coffman has been actively involved, talking with Walmart management, executives at Walgreens, and other mom-and-pop stores. He's also asked APD to bring a presentation forward on what they can better do to enforce the law.


Neighbors hope more businesses won't succumb to this fuss on the 'Fax.

"It's tragic. Just to the east of the Walgreens, there is a disabled and elderly care community center where people walk for needed pharmacy items and medication. If the store were to completely vacate the area, there'd be a one-mile radius with no pharmacy," said Sundberg.

A community meeting has been scheduled for NW Aurora residents to discuss their concerns over the closure of Walmart grocery store. 

The meeting will be held on Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to noon, at Montview Elementary School located at 2055 N. Moline St., Aurora.

There will be another meeting for neighbors who have concerns over the East Colfax Avenue and Havana Street bus stop the following Saturday on July 20, at the Dayton Street Opportunity Center located at 1445 Dayton St., from 10 a.m. to noon.

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