Police seek assistance in ending burglaries

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(Editor's note: A portion of this article was inadvertently cut in Monday's Craig Daily Press so it has been reprinted here in its entirety.)



A rash of daytime burglaries in residential neighborhoods has caused the Craig Police Department to bring in unlikely assistants to the investigation.

The Craig Police Department Friday issued a memo to the Post office, Bresnan Communications, Yampa Valley Electric Association and the city of Craig -- entities whose employees regularly roam residential neighborhoods and could have a hand in solving the crimes.

The memo asks that anyone who might have observed something suspicious or who might see what they believe to be a burglary in progress to contact the Craig Police Department.

John Forgay, detective with the Craig Police Department, was unavailable for comment on the case, but the memo states that there have been a series of daytime home burglaries in the past two weeks.

"In two cases, homeowners arrived home and heard someone running from their home," the memo states. "Others describe several kids riding BMX bikes in the area, as though they are acting as lookouts."

Most of the homes burglarized have been in an area north of Victory Way, east from School Street to Colorado Street and as far north as the 1100 block of Lincoln St.

Several of the homes were approached from the alley and were entered by removing screens from unlocked windows.

The items taken were usually money, PlayStations and games, which the memo states leads the police department to believe the burglar or burglars are 14 to 20 years in age.

There is no evidence to connect the crimes except the number of them, Police Chief Walt Vanatta said.

"That kind of reflects to us that maybe they're connected," he said. "We don't get that many burglaries that often."

During a burglary Thursday, a .40-caliber handgun was taken, which has the department concerned, the memo states.

Postmaster Rick Ryan said the request was unusual, but one he had no problem in fulfilling. He furnished all his carriers with copies of the memo.

"They're just wanting us to keep an eye out," he said. "Carriers don't have to go out of their way, they just have to know what's going on. I guess they're just looking for anyone to be on the lookout."

Tom Cotton, general manager of Bresnan Communications, said the request is common in larger towns. Some even have "neighborhood ears" programs in which people working in residential neighborhoods are asked to keep their eyes open for possible crimes and to be "safe places" for anyone in danger.

Cotton, too, said he has no problem with the police department's request.

"We're happy to help," he said.

One person was arrested Friday for alleged burglary but he has not been connected to the rash of burglaries that have occurred in the past two weeks, Vanatta said.

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