2 teenagers arrested in liquor store burglaries

MONTROSE — A pair of Montrose teenagers was arrested early Thursday morning on suspicion they committed recent burglaries and vandalism on local liquor stores.

Bryan Ashley, 19, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree burglary, theft and criminal mischief, and Michael Weller, 18, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree burglary, theft and criminal mischief.

According to Montrose Police Department Cmdr. Gene Lillard, at approximately 4:15 a.m. Thursday morning officers responded to a 911 call from Drive-In Liquors. Upon arrival they found the store owner bloodied from broken glass.

Moments before that, Ashley allegedly broke out the window of the store to obtain alcohol when the owner confronted him and emptied a can of bear pepper spray in the burglar’s face. A struggle ensued, and both men were cut by broken glass before Ashley escaped.

Lillard said two other disturbance calls came in at the same time as the 911 calls, and he could not say whether those calls were meant as a decoy for responding officers.

“That’s still under investigation,” said Lillard, whose department is investigating eight burglary and vandalism reports from a seven-day span, including Thursday morning’s incidents.

Another business, the Beer Barn, had its front window broken out moments before the break-in at Drive-In Liquors, Lillard said.

Lillard said the owner of Drive-In Liquors provided detectives with crucial information that led them to Ashley’s home, where he was arrested.

Weller was found at his residence and arrested on suspicion of being Ashley’s accomplice.

Ashley was in court Thursday afternoon for advisement. He returns for formal charges June 30.

Weller’s advisement has not yet been set.


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