Four Fruita teens accused in botched burglary of pot plant

One of four Fruita teenagers who allegedly drove nearly 80 miles to burglarize a medical marijuana nursery told the owner of the property that they were sorry, but “they needed some money,” according to an arrest affidavit.

“(Owner) said male party had stated they had run away from home,” the affidavit said. The boy and girl then fled on foot across private property in the 6000 block of County Road 214 between Silt and New Castle, after the duo’s alleged accomplices had sped away in a Honda Civic around 9 a.m. on March 15.

The owner gave chase after the car and obtained a license plate number, which was registered to an owner in Fruita.

Three juveniles, ages 15 to 17, were advised Wednesday in Garfield County Court on charges ranging from second-degree burglary, obstruction, trespassing and misdemeanor theft related to the incident.

Jose Roldolfo Chavez, 18, of Fruita, was charged as the alleged driver of the vehicle involved in the incident, and he is free after posting $12,000 bond. Two of the three juveniles posted bond, and the third remains in custody in Mesa County, according to the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

According to the affidavit, the owner of the Silt-area greenhouse said he was leasing the facility to a Glenwood Springs medical marijuana dispensary.

“(Owner) advised that the plywood door with a lock had been broken down,” the affidavit said. “(Owner) then advised that the people who broke into the building had cut an exit into the plastic covering the greenhouse.”

A deputy noted several apparent shoe impressions on the floor.

The affidavit said a neighbor noticed a man running from the greenhouse and carrying a marijuana plant, which was later dropped in the neighbor’s field.

The plant, which was estimated by officers to weigh five pounds, was recovered by deputies.

The two juveniles who fled through the fields, a boy, 17, and girl, 15, were apprehended by a deputy, who also observed the girl throw away a Crown Royal bag, which was found to hold a suspected marijuana pipe, the affidavit said.

Interviewed by investigators, the girl said she knew there was a marijuana grow nearby because she had been riding horses with her mother in the area two days earlier.

The boy, meanwhile, said they wanted to steal some of the marijuana because two friends had accused the boy of stealing their marijuana. He told detectives they made the drive, “so he wouldn’t be in any further trouble” with his friends, according to the affidavit.

The boy said they had plans to drive to Denver if they were successful, the affidavit said.


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