Suspect in art, vehicle theft case makes a deal
EAGLE — One of two women found with a stolen van holding $179,670 of artwork stolen from a storage unit in the town of Eagle has finalized a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Shanna L. Salazar, 38, of Grand Junction, pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit theft Wednesday in Eagle County District Court — one of 10 felony charges she originally faced in the case.
Salazar was reportedly the driver of a 2004 Chevrolet Astro van that police in De Beque investigated in May 2020 after they saw it parked but left running at a gas station in that town. Police did a license plate check and found that the van had been reported stolen out of Eagle in December 2019.
After detaining Salazar and a passenger, Brittany N. Davis, 27, of Rifle, who were in the gas station store or using the restroom, police looked inside the van. They allegedly found bolt cutters and burglary tools as well as 16 pieces of artwork, including bronze statues and framed art, that was later determined to have been stolen from a Vail art gallery’s storage unit in Eagle.
Under the plea agreement, Salazar was sentenced to four years in community corrections, and has been accepted at The Haven, a facility in Denver that treats women with chronic substance abuse and mental health disorders.
The sentence will run concurrent to another four-year community corrections sentence imposed recently after Salazar pleaded guilty to one count of felony identity theft. That separate case involved a vehicle break-in and bank and credit card thefts in Eagle County, in which her boyfriend, Clint Creveling, 30, also was sentenced to five years in state prison.
As part of the agreement, Salazar agreed to testify in the pending case against Brittany Davis, and prosecutors agreed to not charge Salazar for any other auto break-ins committed in 2019 or 2020.
Joe Kirwan, assistant district attorney for Colorado’s 5th Judicial District, told the court that Salazar has a 20-year criminal history, mostly involving burglary, theft and methamphetamine addiction.
“She indicated she was ready to change her life and the people will take her word,” Kirwan said. “She was quite candid about her involvement in this case, and candid about breaking into cars and stealing cars and taking credit cards to use.”
Davis remains in custody in Eagle County jail, with bond set at $5,000. She is charged with vehicle theft and conspiracy, theft and conspiracy, burglary and conspiracy, and possession of burglary tools, all felonies. Her next court appearance is scheduled for April 20.
According to a police affidavit, Davis told police that she was helping Salazar move the van, which was already loaded when Salazar picked her up. Davis said she did not know that the van or any items in it were stolen, but did reportedly tell police that they were taking the van to a location in Grand Junction where stolen vehicles go before heading to a chop shop in California.
Tom Lotshaw can be reached at email@example.com.