Police believe serial car burglar — also charged with stealing from a priest — is in custody | CraigDailyPress.com

Police believe serial car burglar — also charged with stealing from a priest — is in custody

A Craig man arrested for stealing from a priest may also be the culprit behind a string of vehicle break-ins in recent months.

Craig Police are still investigating evidence that Skyler Kemp, 24, is responsible for several recent thefts of items stored in parked cars. Kemp, who has been in custody at Moffat County Jail since his Oct. 25 arrest, has already been charged with three counts of similar crimes.

As of Friday, Kemp is charged with a Class 3 felony, burglary of a dwelling, a Class 6 felony, theft of $2,000-$5,000, and a Class 3 misdemeanor, criminal mischief under $300. Police believe more charges may be forthcoming.

The first count is related to the break-in and burglary of the house of a local priest. According to the warrantless arrest probable cause statement, Craig Police investigated the Oct. 4 theft of, among other items, a sacramental bag and communion kit and a cross on a silver chain, as well as the priest’s stole. Altogether, those items were estimated to value nearly $1,000. In addition, a mountain bike valued by the victim at $4,000 was stolen from the home.

According to the sworn police report, the victim was out of town when Kemp allegedly broke into the home and stole the items. Most items were recovered Oct. 26 when Kemp’s mother returned a number of other stolen items to a second victim, prompting police to request access to search to the mother’s home.

When the request was granted, the sacramental bag and priest’s stole were recovered, along with several other apparently stolen items from other apparent thefts. The cross and bicycle were not recovered at that time.

Kemp’s arrest occurred after an alleged theft from a parked truck when Kemp’s mother told the alleged victim that it was her son who stole a wallet containing a checkbook, some cash, five specialized knives and a survival kit.

A third affidavit details Kemp’s arrest on Oct. 25. Kemp attempted to escape through a second-floor window, the affidavit states, before being surrounded and surrendering without incident. He was arrested on warrants from Moffat and Rio Blanco counties.

Shortly following Kemp’s arrest, CSP dispatch received a report of a burglary “less than 300 yards” from where Kemp was apprehended. Victims at that address alleged that jewelry, a class ring, cash, collectible coins and five iPads, estimated by victims to total $1,500, had been stolen.

In what the affidavit calls a voluntary interview with police, Kemp denied that burglary but admitted to other crimes.

“There’s been a bunch of shady characters at my house lately,” Kemp said, according to police, “because the only way I can make money is to sell drugs.”

But, the affidavit states, the next day, the jewelry stolen from the nearby home was recovered when a second individual tried to pawn them. That individual told police he’d purchased the items from Kemp.

Investigation is ongoing in these and other cases related to Kemp’s potential activities. Currently, Kemp is in custody after being assigned a $20,000 bond, which has not been posted.

Kemp will appear in court on Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m. for a review hearing.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.