Mesa County sheriff: Ring of young burglars arrested
An 18-year-old Mack man and three juveniles could be hit with nearly 100 felony charges after authorities broke up a large burglary ring which they allege netted the suspects nearly $20,000 in stolen firearms, ammunition, cash and other items.
The Mesa County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday announced the arrests of Dustin Travis Langdon, 18, 1024 O Road; Todd Martin Bahr, 16; Wyatt Anthony Creamer, 17; and Kalia L. Thompson, 15.
Langdon turned himself in Thursday morning and was released from the Mesa County Jail after posting $10,000 bond. He is expected to make his first court appearance today.
The three juveniles were arrested Wednesday and are being held in the Division of Youth Corrections. No information about their bonds or initial court appearances was immediately available.
All four could be charged with multiple counts of second-degree burglary, theft, conspiracy and being an accessory to a felony crime.
Authorities say the burglary spree occurred between Sept. 24 and Oct. 14 and targeted homes and garages on the Redlands and in northwest Grand Junction, Fruita and Loma and a cemetery in Fruita. In at least three instances, investigators allege, the teenagers stole items while homeowners were asleep inside.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Heather Benjamin called the crimes “pretty serious, especially for juveniles.”
“We have been actively searching for them. It’s a nice thing to have gotten them,” she said. “They are definitely a serious threat for the things they’re stealing. (It’s) pretty bold to go into homes when people are home. That’s very, very scary.”
According to an arrest affidavit, the four teenagers are suspected in burglaries on the following dates and at the following addresses:
Sept. 24 or 25 at Elmwood Cemetery, 1175 17 1/4 Road. Fifteen firearms and ammunition were stolen.
Oct. 14 at 810 Mease Road. A laptop computer and a purse were stolen.
Oct. 14 at 812 Mease Road. A generator was stolen.
Oct. 13 or 14 at 1278 13 2/10 Road. An Apple iPod was stolen.
Between Sept. 25 and Oct. 15 at 1030 E. Pabor Ave. Two shotguns, a pistol, a spotting scope and $700 cash were stolen.
Oct. 14 at 2209 Desert Varnish Court. A 58-inch television and Apple iPhone were stolen.
Oct. 14 at 371 Caprock Drive. A dirt bike was stolen.
Oct. 14 at 356 Caprock Drive. A purse containing several credit and debit cards was stolen.
The owner of the home on Pabor Avenue told deputies he works with Creamer’s father and that Creamer has been at his house to take care of the lawn and knows that the homeowner is gone much of the time.
“(The homeowner) said that he has suspected Wyatt of stealing from him in the past and, on one occasion, asked (Creamer’s father) to have Wyatt come to (the owner’s) house to talk about a red vehicle that Wyatt was alleged to have taken while (the owner) was out of town. Wyatt never came to talk to (the owner),” an investigator wrote in the affidavit.
Authorities busted the ring Oct. 14 after a homeowner at 1322 L 7/10 Road was awakened by her home’s alarm system and saw two men running from the driveway. Deputies found a minivan parked in the area that contained a large flat-screen television, a dirt bike, a generator, a laptop computer, bolt cutters and other items. The van was registered to Creamer’s parents, according to the affidavit.
Creamer’s mother told deputies her son had left the house in the van the night before and was supposed to stay at the home of his girlfriend, Thompson. While deputies were speaking with the mother, Creamer called her and said he had stayed at Langdon’s house but that the van was gone. He suggested she report the van stolen, the affidavit said.
Deputies then contacted Creamer and Langdon at Langdon’s house. Creamer said he had parked the van on a dirt shoulder outside Langdon’s house and discovered it was missing when he left to go home. Deputies, however, noted there were no tire tracks or any other evidence that a van had been parked there, the affidavit said.
Langdon later admitted to deputies that he and Creamer were involved in several burglaries. He said the two of them stopped at Thompson’s home and picked up Bahr late on Oct. 13, and that Bahr accompanied them on all but two of the burglaries. He said Thompson didn’t participate in any of the burglaries but knew about what the other three were doing and helped Langdon and Creamer get back to Langdon’s house after they abandoned the van outside the house on L 7/10 Road, the affidavit said.
Langdon eventually agreed to take deputies around and show them which houses were entered and explain the items that were stolen, the affidavit said.
Langdon told deputies he is afraid of Creamer and of what would happen when Creamer learned that he had talked to police.
“Langdon said Creamer gets into fights all the time, that Creamer has carried a pistol in the past, and that Creamer has implied what would happen if anybody told police about him,” an investigator wrote in the affidavit.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sally Weese said the investigation is ongoing, and investigators are examining other unsolved burglaries to see if the teenagers might be connected to them.