December 18, 2009

Burglaries in northeastern Park County being investigated
Items, vehicle stolen from Meadow Drive residence in Woodside recovered

Mike Potter
Staff Writer

An investigation by three law enforcement agencies is under way concerning the interconnected theft of two vehicles and two burglaries.

The stolen vehicles, and some of the stolen items were found in Pine Junction in northeastern Park County on Dec. 13.

The Lakewood Police Department and the Sheriff's Offices of Park and Jefferson counties are searching for three suspects, two men and one woman, believed to be in their 20s.

The investigation was sparked when Park County deputies were notified of a suspicious vehicle in the Park County section of the Woodside subdivision. Woodside straddles the Park and Jefferson county line.

According to Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jacki Kelley, Park County deputies asked Jefferson County deputies to investigate the home at the address of registration for the suspicious vehicle. 

Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies found evidence that the home, located on Meadow Drive, had been burglarized.

The Jefferson County deputies also discovered a second vehicle, this one also disabled, that had been reported stolen out of Lakewood.

After contacting the owners of the home, who had been out of town for the weekend, Jefferson County deputies determined that several items, including a GPS device, a radio, some jewelry, five guns, and the vehicle that was found in Park County, were missing from the home. Those items were later found in or around the abandoned truck from the residence.

Kelley said it appeared that the three suspects stole the Lakewood vehicle, drove it to the Pine Junction home to commit a burglary. When that first vehicle became disabled, the bandits stole a second vehicle and drove it into Park County with the stolen goods. When the second vehicle also became disabled, the suspects stashed the stolen items and hitched a ride to the Pine Junction Country Store in Pine Junction to call for help. Park County deputies were able to find the stolen items. Kelley said she wasn't sure when the suspects broke into the second home, located in Park County.

Kelley said a Pine Junction resident unknowingly gave the three a ride so they could call for help.

"The neighbor who gave them a ride didn't know they were involved in illegal activity," Kelley said.

Because the second burglarized home was in Park County, Kelley couldn't comment on that end of the investigation.

Park County Undersheriff Monte Gore couldn't comment on the investigation because it was ongoing and involved a number of jurisdictions. He said he wanted to speak with representatives from the other agencies before commenting on the case.

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