Employee thwarts break-in attempt | AspenTimes.com

Employee thwarts break-in attempt

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” One would-be burglar was stopped in his tracks during an attempted break-in at a Glenwood Springs paint store last week.

Before midnight on Oct. 24, someone tried to break into Sherwin-Williams at 3228 South Glen Ave. by prying open the back door.

“They got kind of a rude awakening when they went to go into Sherwin-Williams because there was an employee working there late,” Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said.

The employee forcefully opened the door, pushing the person back, and then chased the attempted burglar but didn’t catch him or get a good look at him, Wilson added.

Police are still looking for suspects in a series of business burglaries that seemed to pick up in mid-September.

Wilson said the burglaries can’t all be tied together, but that police believe a number of them are related. Although he couldn’t speak for other departments or communities, he said, “We’re looking at about 14 that we think may be related.”

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He declined to discuss the details, but said the burglaries are still under investigation.

The night of Oct. 24, a money bag containing about $2,400 was stolen from the Tomahawk Truck Stop. The boyfriend of a clerk at the gas station there waited until the clerk went into the restroom and grabbed the bag from behind the counter, Glenwood Police Lt. Bill Kimminau said.

Barnhart Joseph Edward, 41, was arrested on suspicion of theft, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police contacted him later in a hotel room after speaking with store representatives and discovering Barnhart was allegedly caught on a security camera, Kimminau said. Barnhart wasn’t thought to be linked to the burglaries. The clerk at the gas station wasn’t implicated, Kimminau said, and the manager didn’t think she was involved.

In another Oct. 24 evening incident, an unidentified suspect stole about $188 worth of merchandise from JC Penney. No suspects were immediately identified. Wilson said this incident wasn’t related to any of the burglaries, describing it as more like a shoplifting incident during store hours.

Someone also attempted to burglarize the Blue Sky Adventures business on Sixth Street some time late Oct. 23 or early Oct. 24. Wilson said it appeared someone tried to pry open a door but gave up or got “spooked” and left before getting inside.

The Carbondale Police Department reported burglaries in the early morning hours of Oct. 24 at Carbondale’s Gateway Plaza at Highway 133 and Cowen Drive, including break-ins at Easy Living Furnishings, Smiling Moose Deli and Independence Run ‘n’ Hike. There were also attempted break-ins at two adjacent businesses that proved unsuccessful. Police believe they may be connected to some of the Glenwood Springs burglaries.

A storage area at a residence on the 100 block of Center Drive was also burglarized on Sunday; about $250 worth of items were stolen.

In addition, four restaurants in Basalt were burglarized early Tuesday morning.

Anyone with information on the burglaries can remain anonymous and is asked to contact police by calling 384-6500 or visiting http://www.glenwoodpolice.com/tips.

“Businesses need to be aware that this is ongoing,” Wilson said, adding that businesses should make regular bank drops avoid keeping lots of cash on hand.