Investigators work to solve string of local thefts

Although not definitively linked, a string of seven thefts, two burglaries and one incident of breaking and entering have caused Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department investigators to step up patrols in key areas of the county as they search for the perpetrators.

“We have no suspects and have made no arrests,” said Archuleta County Undersheriff John Weiss. “Our investigators have been involved, and they are still trying to find linkages. We’ve collected evidence and we’re following leads. We’re looking into each case closely to see if we can make an arrest.”

The number of thefts represents a spike in thefts and burglaries Weiss said he has not seen since late summer and early fall, when a string of similar crimes occurred in the Pagosa Lakes and Core areas.

The recent thefts, occurring between Dec. 8 and Dec. 16, show some similarities in geographic concentration; however similar crimes are popping up farther afield in Archuleta County.

For example, the Fawn Gulch Road area, near it’s intersection with U.S. 160, experienced one incident of burglary and theft Dec. 8; and there was a breaking and entering that occurred Dec. 13 on Fourmile Road. Also on Dec. 13, a theft occurred on Waxwing Place in the Lake Hatcher area.

Weiss described the incidents largely as crimes of opportunity where perpetrators capitalized on an unlocked car door, shed or garage.

In addition, Weiss said almost all the crimes occurred at residences rather than in front of businesses or in commercial areas.

Weiss said if a citizen becomes a victim of a theft or burglary they should not attempt to investigate the scene themselves, but should call law enforcement immediately.

Weiss also encouraged residents to lock garages, sheds and cars, and if valuables are left in vehicles, they should be stored out of sight. He also encouraged residents to watch for suspicious activity.

Anyone with information, leads or to report suspicious activity, call the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department at 264-8430 and ask for Detective Valdez, or Archuleta County Dispatch at 264-2131.

Geographic breakdown

• Fourmile Road — breaking and entering.

• Fawn Gulch area near U.S. 160 — theft.

• Twin Creek Village — theft on Capitan Circle, burglary on Capitan Circle, theft on Sweetwater Drive.

• Vista — burglary, Homestead Avenue.

• Lake Hatcher — theft, Waxwing Place.

• Core Area — theft, Great West Avenue, theft, Pony Place.

• Pagosa Lakes — theft, North Pagosa Boulevard.

james@pagosasun.com