Thousands in cash stolen from Dinosaur’s BedRock Depot during break-in
July 27, 2018
DINOSAUR — A break-in at a business in the western Moffat County town of Dinosaur resulted in thousands of dollars being stolen this week.
Late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, Dinosaur’s BedRock Depot was burglarized, and about $2,000 was taken.
Leona Hemmerich, owner of the restaurant and gift shop, located at 214 W. Brontosaurus Blvd., said between cash and damaged merchandise, the amount in losses could be between $2,500 and $3,000.
“All told, it’s not a huge loss,” she said. “It could have been bigger. Who they stole from the most is my employees.”
Hemmerich said she uses “tip bags” for her wait staff — with five people currently working at the eatery — collecting gratuities from customers, which are then distributed in a lump sum at the end of the summer.
Not all the bags were completely emptied, she added, which she found “bizarre.” Hemmerich said she believes the culprit or culprits were familiar with her and the Depot.
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The parties involved are believed to have broken in through a window and cut themselves on the broken glass in the process, leaving a blood trail, according to Dinosaur Town Marshal Taffine Patterson.
Patterson is handling the investigation, but has limited resources at her disposal. Patterson said she is unable to comment on most details of the incident.
Initially, when Hemmerich contacted Moffat County Sheriff’s Office about the break-in, she was told deputies were unable to make the trip to Dinosaur, about three miles east of the Utah border and nearly 90 miles west of the agency’s Craig headquarters.
“They were really apologetic, and they said they couldn’t come out because of something to do with the town of Dinosaur not signing an agreement,” she said.
Sheriff KC Hume confirmed that staffing numbers were an issue when the call came in Thursday morning, with only one deputy available on shift to send out in the county. Since the call was neither in progress at the time nor a “life safety” matter, the office could not respond to take an official report, nor was the agency contacted for any additional assistance.
Hume said the sheriff’s office had an intergovernmental agreement with the Dinosaur Town Council from 2009 to 2014 to provide law enforcement services. That agreement, however, was terminated by Dinosaur, brought back in 2015, then terminated again in fall 2017.
As an incorporated town, Dinosaur is required to have some form of law enforcement within its boundaries, Hume said, though the local government has multiple options for how to fulfill that.
“There have been many iterations of law enforcement in the town, and they can operate their own marshal’s office or contract those services,” Hume said, noting that the contract also briefly included a deputy in his department, who, at that time, lived in the town, but has since relocated.
Hume added that he is open to the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office working with the Dinosaur Marshal’s Office if assistance is needed.
Hemmerich said that there was some small progress in the investigation thanks to late-night footage from a security camera at the nearby Conoco, though Patterson’s limited time in the position proved an obstacle.
Patterson’s final day in the position will be July 31. She was unable to comment on her potential replacement.
Dinosaur Town Council could not be reached for comment about the marshal position.
Hemmerich said that, with Peterson’s departure, she is uncertain of what the future will mean for her business.
“If there’s no coverage, does that mean I have to cover myself and be my own law enforcement?” she said. “That’s what’s frustrating for me.”
Anyone with any information about the BedRock Depot break-in is asked to contact the Dinosaur Town Marshal’s Office at 970-374-2296 or 970-629-5303.