Theft caught on camera?
EAGLE COUNTY A Carbondale man was allegedly the star of a video Monday that he would just as soon forget.Joel Amezquita-Sanchez, 32, was arrested and faces charges of theft and first-degree criminal trespass of a motor vehicle after an Eagle County deputy said he entered a car at a construction site and stole $208.Amezquita-Sanchez delivered drywall and materials to a job site in Missouri Heights. He allegedly took the opportunity while alone outside to rifle through the purse of a saleswoman who was at the site.Amezquita-Sanchez didn’t know that the contractor at the site had invested in a video surveillance system. Gary Johnson of Wild, Wild West Development Inc. purchased cameras to deter theft and catch thieves.”Just in the last year there have been a bunch of thefts up [in Missouri Heights], from Spring Park on down,” Johnson said.He invested $1,200 in the surveillance system in hopes that it would reduce his contractor’s insurance premiums as well as reduce theft. Three cameras were strategically placed at his Missouri Heights job site. Johnson said he checked the videotape Monday night after he got the call from the saleswoman about the missing money. The tape clearly showed a man entering the car and lingering inside for about 90 seconds. The action was caught by a camera placed on a saw horse.Johnson contacted Eagle County sheriff’s deputy Kirk Wheatley on Tuesday morning, and they talked to the owner of the drywall supply company later that day. They provided the video as proof.”He looked like he was just sick,” Johnson said. The company owner felt so bad that he replaced the stolen money immediately from his own pocket. He also cooperated fully with the investigation, Wheatley said.Wheatley waited for Amezquita-Sanchez at the drywall-supply business and arrested him Tuesday. Amezquita-Sanchez was released from Eagle County Jail on Tuesday night after posting $3,500 bond.Johnson said surveillance systems are slowly becoming more popular at construction sites. “It’s a cheap investment. One good hit and they can take five, six grand,” he said.Wheatley said he hopes word of the arrest serves as a deterrent. Would-be thieves will have to wonder whether there is an eye on them even when no one is around.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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