Steamboat Springs Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies on Thursday arrested a Steamboat Springs man suspected in two rural Routt County home burglaries. Jewelry, cash, checks, more than a dozen guns and a coin collection valued at $100,000 were among the items reportedly stolen in two break-ins reported in April.
Deputies arrested Charles Joseph Golonka, 32, after investigators tracked some of the items to a check-cashing store and a pawnshop in the Englewood area. Investigators also have issued warrants for three other people thought to be involved in the crimes. All four men were or are residents of Routt County and worked odd jobs, including landscaping, across the county, Sheriff’s Office evidence technician Mellisa Baumgartner said Monday.
“We believe they had been doing some work in various areas and basically casing homes that belonged to older residents or people who weren’t home often,” she said.
The first burglary, reported April 2, was in the western part of the county along U.S. Highway 40. The coin collection, with some coins dating to the 1800s, was stolen from an unlocked safe in the home. Sheriff’s Office investigator Ken Klinger said the coin collection included bags of silver coins with high silver content.
Cash, checks, jewelry and about a dozen rifles and shotguns were stolen from the second house, on Routt County Road 33A, in a burglary reported April 28. The value of that theft was estimated to be $50,000.
In both break-ins, the doors to the homes were smashed open. No one was home during either crime.
Klinger said the second burglary was discovered April 28 when the homeowners returned to their house for the first time since October, so it’s unknown when the items were stolen. The other burglary occurred the same day it was reported.
Klinger said he suspects the two burglaries are related. There have been no other related burglaries reported.
Deputies discovered the jewelry in a local pawnshop and recovered the falsified checks, written for about $500, from the Englewood shop. The coin collection and guns have not been recovered.
Golonka was arrested on suspicion of burglary, theft, theft by receiving, violating the Pawnbroker’s Act, probation violation and criminal mischief. He was released on a $10,000 bond, and he is scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. June 15 for a status conference.