Attempted burglary at Garfield fairgrounds leaves suspect trapped in air vent
An attempted burglary left a man caught in a trap of his own making Wednesday morning.
The 27-year-old Rifle resident tried to break into the Garfield County Fairgrounds, authorities said. Officers found him at the scene minutes into what they said was his second burglary within an hour, unable to escape after trapping himself in an air vent.
Fairgrounds Manager Debra Adams called the incident a “complete mystery” because there is “not a thing out there for him to steal.”
At 12:57 a.m. Wednesday, Rifle Chief of Police Tommy Klein received an alarm call from Go-Fer Foods on Fifth and Railroad Avenue. Officers found the side window broken and cash taken from the register.
About an hour later, at 1:41 a.m., the department received a call about banging and screaming coming from the fairgrounds. The officers left Go-Fer for the fairgrounds only to find their burglar waiting for them there.
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After climbing onto the roof of the indoor arena to investigate the screaming and banging coming from the building, officers noticed the lid had been broken off one of the air ducts. They looked down to find the man wedged in the vent.
The fire department had to be called to help pull him out.
Colorado River Fire Rescue public information officer Maria Piña said that fire crews responded with one engine and ambulance and lowered a rope from the roof to pull him out. Klein said that officers found significant evidence to link him to the Go-Fer Foods break-in.
The man was charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of criminal mischief, and theft of over $300 and less than $750.