West Coast crime spree hits Aspen before suspects arrested in Colorado Springs
An Oklahoma couple arrested last month in Colorado Springs after an alleged West Coast crime spree may have committed three July 4 burglaries in the Aspen area, an official said Wednesday.
Dylan Deshields, 24, and Shylo Short, 22, both of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, were caught July 11 in Colorado Springs after police officers there responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle and discovered they were driving a stolen car, Pitkin County Deputy Anthony Todaro said Wednesday.
Stolen items and identification from two Aspen-area victims was found in the car after Colorado Springs officers searched it, Todaro said.
“I got lucky because my victims’ IDs and (other possessions) were in the vehicle,” he said.
The Aspen incidents all occurred July 4, according to Sheriff’s Office reports.
The first was reported about 9:30 a.m., when a woman who parked at the trailhead to Triangle Park in the Woody Creek area told Todaro she returned to her 2014 Jeep Wrangler and found the front passenger window broken, according to Todaro’s report.
The woman said she’d been worried about fire danger in the area and had “her most precious items loaded in her car,” according to Todaro’s report. Missing from the vehicle were her wallet containing her ID, credit cards and an undetermined amount of cash, a recently purchased Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun, a snowboard and a paddle board paddle and pump, the report states.
At 11 a.m., a fly-fishing guide who had parked on Upper River Road with clients called to say he’d returned to his vehicle and found the driver’s side window smashed. A small Yeti cooler was stolen from the truck, while a small bag containing a cellphone was taken from one of the fishing clients, according to the report.
The third report came in just after noon, when a husband and wife who had parked at the Weller Lake trailhead on Independence Pass reported finding their truck’s right rear window broken when they returned from the lake. Several unspecified items were missing from the truck, the report states.
Later that afternoon, Todaro received a call from one of the Weller trailhead victims reporting that someone had unsuccessfully tried to charge more than $1,500 worth of goods on her credit card at the Wal-Mart in Salida, according to the report.
Todaro later received video surveillance footage from the Wal-Mart, though it was grainy, he said. Still, the body types, age ranges and the fact they were a male/female couple ended up matching the descriptions of Deshields and Short, Todaro said. Surveillance video also appeared to show the same car they were later caught driving, he said
Police in Warrenton, Oregon, may have been the first to sound the alarm about the young couple.
A member of that department posted surveillance pictures of Deshields and Short June 27 on its Facebook page after they allegedly used a debit card stolen from a car parked at Washington State Park in Chinook, Washington, to purchase items at several stores in Warrenton, including a Dairy Queen and a Wal-Mart, according to a news release issued July 12 by Warrenton police.
The department posted clear photos from the Warrenton Wal-Mart of the couple on its Facebook page, which led them to contact the owner of the vehicle Deshields and Short were driving, the release states. The owner of that maroon Hyundai Sonata, who lives in Las Vegas, reported the car stolen June 14.
After distributing “crime bulletins” about the couple throughout Oregon and the Western states, Warrenton police picked up their trail.
“It was learned that the two suspects were committing similar crimes all along the West Coast as they (moved) south from Washington, through Oregon and into California,” the Warrenton news release states. “Several agencies reported similar thefts from vehicles at state parks as well as a male and female suspect that matched our photos.
“Property from the various thefts was being recovered in different cities along their route and fraudulent purchase were being made with the stolen cards.”
On July 1, the Hyundai was found burned in San Diego County, California, with burned stolen IDs and stolen items inside, the release states.
The white Kia Optima Deshields and Short were in when arrested in Colorado Springs was stolen from the San Diego area, not far from where the burned-out Hyundai was discovered, according to the release and Todaro.
The photos of the couple from the Warrenton Wal-Mart matched the booking photos of the couple from Colorado Springs, the release states. The couple was booked on unspecified local charges in Colorado Springs, as well as fugitive warrants from Kansas, Oklahoma and Florida, according to the news release.
Todaro said among the items stolen from Aspen-area victims and discovered in the Kia after the couple were arrested in Colorado Springs include a snowboard, fishing waders, and a magazine from a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun. The 9mm gun was not recovered, he said.
Charges relating to the Aspen-area burglaries and thefts are pending, Todaro said.
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