Teens broke into Eagle home, cops say | VailDaily.com

Teens broke into Eagle home, cops say

EAGLE ” The Koch family of Eby Creek returned from spring break to find their home had allegedly been burglarized by three juveniles ” kids they knew.

The crime has left the family frustrated and angry. They want their neighbors to learn from their experience.

“My sense of safety is gone,” said Grace Koch. “I want other families to know you do have to lock your doors.”

Koch said the family had locked up their home and left everything tidy when they left. But when they walked into their home on April 13, the family members found various items askew. They called the police and continued to search the home.

While a jewelry box had been broken into, none of the items were taken. Missing was an Xbox 360 and a Playstation II unit along with several games and a $400 paintball gun.

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Someone also had taken all the mouthwash in the home to one bathroom, where toothpaste and cotton balls littered the counter. A liter soda bottle and a soda can were sitting on a table and a comforter from another part of the house had been taken to a family room where the missing game systems had been.

The family discussed the burglary with an Eagle County sheriff’s deputy, and offered theories about who could have been involved. As they continued to look around the home, Koch peeked into a crawl space and allegedly found a 15-year-old boy inside.

The boy, a friend of one of her sons, allegedly admitted to breaking into the house but adamantly denied stealing anything, insisting he only wanted to stay at the house for a couple of nights.

He allegedly said he’d used the mouthwash, toothpaste and cotton balls to attempt to clean a scratched game disk. Eventually, the boy allegedly admitted two other teens had been hanging around the home.

The two other juveniles, a 15-year-old and a 14-year-old from Eagle, denied being in the house. But the following day the father of one boys told deputies his son had allegedly changed his story.

The teen allegedly said he and his friend entered an unlocked window to steal the Xbox and then found the other teen in the game room.

The 14-year-old said the youth found in the crawl space was not involved in a theft. He also allegedly said the Playstation II and games were sold for $58 and the paintball gun was sold for $100.

The 15-year-old allegedly told deputies the paintball gun had been exchanged for marijuana and that he still had the Xbox.

Charges against all three teens have been filed by the Eagle County District Attorney’s office.

Koch plans to aggressively follow her case through the system and said that because the offenders are all juveniles, she’s been told the youths will likely receive “a slap on the wrist” from the legal system.

“The infuriates me. That’s why I called the newspaper,” said Koch. “I feel like nothing is going to happen even when you catch people. It’s very disheartening.”

But she hopes other families from experiencing a similar situation. “Be sure you lock your doors. Don’t let people know you are going on vacation. Be more vigilant,” she advised. “It’s not Mayberry any more. People should know.”

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