Stolen nitrous oxide cylinders found in dead man’s Eagle County storage shed
May 17, 2017
CRAIG — An unsolved burglary from Airgas in Craig in February reached an unexpected conclusion when empty nitrous oxide cylinders were found in a deceased man's storage shed in Eagle County in March, according to a news release from the Craig Police Department.
The burglary occurred Feb. 1, in which seven cylinders of what's commonly known as laughing gas were discovered missing, and the Airgas building was damaged from the forced entry of the burglar.
On March 23, an investigator with Gore Range Narcotics Interdiction Team, or GRANITE, out of Eagle County, contacted Craig police, the news release said. A family member of a recently deceased man, identified as 33-year-old Steven Fortin, had found several empty Airgas cylinders.
Fortin, a resident of Steamboat Springs, had been found dead in a hotel room on March 4 in Vernal, Utah.
Stolen Gas Valued at $1,300
The family member notified law enforcement about the found cylinders, according to the release, and Eagle County investigators confirmed they were from the Craig Airgas burglary. All but two cylinders were recovered, and all were empty.
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The value of the stolen nitrous oxide cylinders was nearly $1,300, Craig Police Cmdr. Bill Leonard said.
Craig police investigators learned from family members that Fortin had been addicted to nitrous oxide since he was in high school, and that he had admitted to stealing nitrous oxide from a business in Craig, as well as from other locations in the past, the release said.
The newspaper has not yet heard back from the Vernal Police Department regarding the cause of Fortin's death.