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November 21, 2012
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Local cell phone numbers in the Vail Valley are being targeted with "smishing" texts. There have been several reports from Eagle residents this week alone.

The texts appear to be from legitimate companies such as Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy. The texts normally announce a cash prize or gift certificate winning. Some texts even ask people to enter a "winning number," which is also sent via text message.

Many texts will announce something to the effect of, "Congratulations, you've won!" A link to a website or email site may follow. Some scams even provide a toll-free number to call. However, con artists will be answering the email or telephone and asking for personal identifying information from the "winner." Unfortunately, those responding to these texts will only "win" misery, as con artists will utilize the information obtained from customers for identity theft purposes.

Normally, banks and reputable retail establishments will not contact their customers by text message.

Customers who receive a text message claiming to be from a bank or financial institution should obtain the customer service phone number from the back of their debit card or credit card and notify their financial institution of the attempted scam.

Community members should also be cautious about opening any text message that appears to be from a financial institution or retail store. Clicking on the link could install a virus on your phone.

Customers receiving smishing text messages should contact their cell carrier provider and notify customer service of the text phone number and contents.

Most reputable financial institutions and retail chains will not solicit personal information by text or email. Ignore texts and "phishing" emails that look like they're coming from your bank, credit card or reputable retail stores.

As the holiday season gets into full swing, many scams generally tend to become more prevalent. Please report any suspicious scam activity and always remember to take necessary steps to protect your personal identifying information.

Motorists should be aware that the annual Thanksgiving "Heat Is On" crackdown will be under way over the holiday. Additionally, the Colorado Department of Transportation will join Mothers Against Drunk Driving Colorado and Colorado State Patrol to kick off the 2012 holiday crackdown on drunk driving by calling on Colorado residents to Tie One On For Safety®

MADD's Tie One On For Safety red-ribbon campaign, now in its 26th year, is the organization's signature public awareness project. Drivers display MADD red ribbons on their vehicles as a reminder to drive safe and sober, and in support of Colorado law enforcement officers, who will be out in force as part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.

Thanksgiving "Heat Is On" enforcement by Colorado State Patrol and dozens of local agencies throughout Colorado will began Nov. 20 and will last until 3 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 26.

Only weeks ago, the Halloween crackdown resulted in 570 DUI arrests in Colorado. Last year during the Thanksgiving DUI enforcement period, there were seven fatal crashes involving seven fatalities. Four fatalities were attributed to alcohol and 453 DUI arrests were made by Colorado law enforcement agencies.

"We are asking all Coloradans who are starting out this busy travel week for Thanksgiving, to do the right thing by planning ahead for a sober ride home," said Colonel James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "Our troopers will be out in force to keep our roadways safe. Please tie a red ribbon on your vehicle or key chain as a constant reminder to make smart and safe driving choices throughout the holiday season. And, remember to always buckle up."

For more information about the Heat Is On, the latest enforcement plans, and arrest results visit

Beaver Creek security officers called deputies Nov. 12 after a 37-year-old woman drove onto a ski run and got her car stuck. She had turned off a service road that paralleled the ski run and continued a short distance before her car bogged down in the snow and mud. The woman appeared to be intoxicated and walked away when deputies were called.

Deputies found her walking around a hotel nearby. She admitted the car was hers and said, "some guy," when asked what she was doing in Beaver Creek. She denied she had been drinking any alcohol.

The officers asked her why she smelled like alcohol. She said she didn't know and stopped responding to questions. She refused voluntary sobriety tests and a chemical test. She was arrested for DUI and later said she met a guy at a bar in Minturn and was trying to meet him in Beaver Creek.

A deputy stopped at a three-way intersection in Edwards on Nov. 6 to let a group of juveniles cross at the crosswalk. Another car came to the intersection, stopped at the stop sign and drove through the intersection before the kids finished crossing the street.

The officer contacted the 33-year-old driver and asked if she saw the kids five feet from her car as she drove by them. She said she didn't.

The woman's driver license turned out to be under restraint for citations out of Texas. She was cited for driving with a suspended license.

A deputy was following a car on eastbound Interstate 70 near Avon on Nov. 9.

The car was in the left lane but no other cars were around. The car slowed down to 40 mph and continued in the left lane for a minute before moving into the right lane without a turn signal. The deputy saw the car weave over the right fog line and made a traffic stop.

The officer smelled marijuana as soon as the 26-year-old driver rolled down the window. He asked the 26-year-old if there was any pot in the car. The man said he dropped a friend off in Aspen and his friend had some. The deputy told him to tell the truth and the man pulled out a pill bottle with marijuana in it. He said it belonged to his friend.

The man was cited for possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana.

On Nov. 9. the project manager of a mine near Minturn told deputies that people had trespassed into the mine and vandalized equipment that afternoon.

The manager wasn't sure how the trespassers got into the mine but the damage was evident. He first noticed the chained doors on the main entrance of the mine were badly damaged and two mine carts were on the other side of the road. Apparently the carts had been loaded with items and pushed down the tracks on the second level. The carts rolled about 1,000 feet down hill before crashing through the doors and flying 40 beyond the road.

The damage was estimated to cost about $2,500.

• Graffiti was found under Prince Lane bridge in Gypsum on Nov. 12.

• An extension cord worth $80 was stolen from outside a residence on Copper Spur Road in Bond on Nov. 8.

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The VailDaily Updated Nov 21, 2012 12:07PM Published Nov 21, 2012 12:05PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.