Burglary suspect arrested in Gypsum | VailDaily.com

Burglary suspect arrested in Gypsum

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado
Eagle County Sheriff's OfficeTomas Bandera

EAGLE, Colorado ” Seven schools in Eagle and Gypsum were locked down Monday after a suburban Denver man carrying a knife broke into three homes in both towns and tried to break into another, authorities said Tuesday afternoon.

A Gypsum resident caught Tomas Bandera, 23, of Aurora, breaking into the a home, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said. The resident called 911 and police arrested Bandera 17 minutes later in Gypsum.

Outside doors to all Gypsum and Eagle schools were locked shortly after noon and some students who were at recess were brought indoors, said Brooke Skjonsby, spokeswoman for Eagle County School District.

The schools remained locked all day and no one was allowed to in or out of school buildings without permission, she said.

Students were let out when the school day ended. More teachers and administrators than usual made sure students got to their rides home while more sheriff’s deputies patrolled the area, she said.

Schools were asked to send a letter home to children Monday or Tuesday explaining the lockdown and to report suspicious activity, Skjonsby said.

The letter said that Bandera was caught in the Gypsum Elementary School parking lot, and that a female suspect was “detained” Monday night in Avon.

However, no other arrests had been made in the case, said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly, who declined to say where Bandera was arrested.

A reverse 911 message told residents about the burglaries in Gypsum, but that call was not made to Eagle residents, Cordingly said.

“There was no threat in Eagle,” she said.

Bandera was arrested on suspicion of first degree burglary, menacing with an aggravated weapon, criminal mischief, criminal attempt to commit a felony and theft, all felonies.

Stolen electronics and tools used for burglary were found in Bandera’s car, Cordingly said.

The Eagle Police Department, which helped with the arrest, may also charge Bandera, who is currently being held at the Eagle County jail on a $25,000 bond.

Bandera did not have an attorney at a court hearing Monday, Cordingly said.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.

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