String of car thefts in Eagle County has officials asking for the public’s help
8 cars have been stolen over the last three weeks while six more attempted thefts have been reported
A string of car thefts in Eagle County over the last three weeks has law enforcement officials urging the public to lock cars and never leave them running. There have been eight vehicle thefts and six more attempted thefts reported across Eagle County since Oct. 17. In the cases of the vehicles that weren’t actually stolen, the ignition columns of the vehicles had been tampered with to start the vehicle without the key.
On Nov. 4, security footage was obtained from a store in the Denver area where a stolen credit card was used that was taken from one of the stolen vehicles from Vail. The man in the images, along with another female, were also spotted on surveillance footage from a gas station in Leadville on Oct. 30, shortly after a rash of five vehicle thefts that occurred in Avon that morning.
Witnesses state the male pictured has a dark/thin mustache and has unknown tattoos on the insides of both of his arms, but these were not captured on video. The individual may be driving a light-colored Cadillac Escalade. It appears that these individuals are part of a larger group, with reports of the same incidents occurring in areas surrounding Eagle County, as well as on the Front Range and in the Denver areas.
Three of the cars that were stolen on Oct. 30 had been recovered as of mid-afternoon that day. Initial reports indicated that a firearm and 50 rounds of ammunition were taken from one of the recovered vehicles. An updated report indicated the firearm and ammunition, along with three loaded handgun magazines and several other items were taken in a separate incident at the Grouse Creek trailhead in Minturn.
Amber Barrett of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said all five cars were taken before 9 a.m. One of the cars taken in Avon was recovered in Edwards, the other in Minturn.
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The cars in Avon were taken from the EagleBend, Sunridge and The Aspens neighborhoods. All had been left “puffing,” or running unattended. Leaving an unattended car running is illegal in Colorado.
If you can identify the individuals shown in the photographs or have any information that would aid in this investigation, message Vail Police on Facebook or contact Detective Lachlan Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Law enforcement officials urge residents to not leave their cars running while unattended and to not approach the suspects if you come in contact with them. Instead, call 911 if it’s an emergency or call 970-479-2201 with any additional leads.
You can also remain anonymous and call Eagle County Crime Stoppers at 970-328-7007, 1-800-972-TIPS, or submit your tip online at http://www.p3tips.com or send a mobile tip using the free ‘P3 Tips’ mobile app. If your tip leads to the arrest and indictment of any suspect involved, you could earn up to a $1,000 reward from the Eagle County Crime Stoppers.
The Vail Police Department reminds all residents to lock their vehicles, don’t leave keys in the vehicle, avoid leaving your car running unattended and report suspicious activity as soon as possible.
Scott Miller contributed reporting.