Three teens charged as adults in Silverthorne Kum and Go robbery | VailDaily.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Three teens charged as adults in Silverthorne Kum and Go robbery

Steve LipsherSummit Daily Newsslipsher@summitdaily.com

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado The three masked gunmen who barged into the Silverthorne Kum & Go last month pointed their handguns wildly and screamed for money during a frightening minute-long raid captured in a surveillance tape unveiled in district court Thursday.Keep your hands up! Keep your hands up! yelled one of the robbers as the two frightened convenience-store clerks scrambled to fill a bag with $366 in the late-night robbery on Feb. 13.The three male suspects, identified as two Summit County 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old, were charged Thursday as adults in the crime, each facing four counts of aggravated robbery and three counts of menacing.A fourth man, 18-year-old Francisco Lopez of Silverthorne, is believed to have entered the store eight minutes prior to the holdup, allegedly to case it out, and is reputed to have driven the getaway vehicle afterwards, prosecutors indicated.He faces numerous felony charges including conspiracy, aggravated robbery and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and is free on bond.At least one of the teens has been identified as a member of the Sureos-13 gang of Southern California, and all three were depicted on MySpace pages with terminology and symbols associated with gang life, according to Silverthorne police officer Misty Higby.All of these are gang-related, she said, displaying photos such as one showing several teens displaying gang hand signs, their faces masked by bandanas, and graffiti tags of nicknames the three suspects allegedly sprayed throughout Silverthorne.

In an advisement and bond hearing that was unusual for the presentation of evidence more customarily brought out in a preliminary hearing, Higby described the growing list of local crimes attributed to the teens.Then she showed the video taken by a camera behind the convenience-store counter of the robbers, wearing black ski masks and menacingly waving what police now believe were only pellet guns.As the video of the robbery played on the screen in the courtroom, a female relative of one of the suspects, clutching an infant, left abruptly in tears.Unfortunately, you only know the bad things about him, but theres lots of good things about him, the mother of one teen, identified by police by the gang name Stomper, told District Court Judge Karen Romeo in Spanish.She stated that he is a good father to his 2-year-old son, does well in the alternative high school and doesnt smoke, drink or do drugs.I know hes committed some serious acts and offenses, but its because of his age, she continued. Weve all been young and made some errors, perhaps not quite as serious.Romeo, however, noted that he has had some minor run-ins with the law and set his bond at $50,000 and ordered him to wear an electronic monitor if he is freed from the Summit County Jail.The teen identified by police as Smokey said he had no gang affiliation and had never been detained before spending the past nine days in the Mount View juvenile-detention center in Golden.I learned my lesson while I was in there, and I dont want to go back, he told the judge. I can promise you youll never see me in court again.His aunt noted that he had been abandoned by his parents as a toddler and suggested that the boys had been put up to the crime by the older Lopez.I dont know why he committed this crime, she told Romeo. I feel very bad for them. But I feel like hes going to learn a lot about this experience he has been going through.Because he has no prior criminal record, the judge set his bond at $35,000; defense attorney Heather Beattie indicated the family would try to scrape up that amount.

Meanwhile, Spookey, the youngest and the purported brainchild of the crime, was ordered to be held in Mount View until the three return to court on March 16 for a joint preliminary hearing.The teens face two to 24 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines for each of the robbery charges and six months to six years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines on each of the menacing charges.District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said he has prosecuted teens as adults in only two previous cases both homicides but that he wants to nip the tendrils of gang activity in the community.First of all, it was an extremely serious crime, Hurlbert said. But then also with the gang affiliation, I have said we are going to take a hard line against gangs in Summit County. And if a gang member commits a violent crime, were going to prosecute it aggressively.


Support Local Journalism