Breckenridge burglary suspects busted on tape
Ryan Summerlin November 26, 2008
BRECKENRIDGE ” Breckenridge police on Tuesday evening arrested two Silverthorne men in connection with three break-ins early Sunday morning after one of the suspects allegedly was confronted by a teenage girl in her bedroom.
Levi Taylor Dehaan, 25, and Elton “Brandon” Small, 26, were arrested on suspicion of burglary and theft after police matched several recovered stolen items with the men seen in surveillance-footage tape from a Summit Stage bus.
Police initially were called to 105 Woods Lane at 4:39 a.m. Sunday after a 17-year old girl awoke to find a man wearing a ski mask in her bedroom.
The culprit quickly fled through the side door before taking anything from the home, but police encountered Small near the scene shortly after they arrived.
Although the girl was unable to identify Small as the man she had seen in her bedroom, police later determined it was Dehaan who had entered the house while Small waited outside.
Shortly after 8 a.m. the same day, Breckenridge businesses Avalanche Sports and Colorado Free Ride reported that skis, poles and luggage had been taken.
Several hours later, a pair of stolen skis was found by a passerby outside of what used to be the Breckenridge Building Center on Main Street. Also found near the stolen skis was a backpack containing two pay stubs belonging to Dehaan.
“Once we found that, we looked at the video and started piecing everything together,” said Breckenridge assistant police chief Greg Morrison. “If they say a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth an encyclopedia.”
Surveillance cameras were placed on all 32 Summit Stage buses last year after a slew of violent incidents during late-night rides. The move generated some controversy from some patrons concerned about privacy, but the addition has proven to be an asset for local police.
Although both Small and Dehaan got on the Summit Stage at different stops early Sunday morning, video surveillance showed the men talking and sitting next to each other, and the biggest clue connecting them to the burglaries was that they both were still wearing ski masks.
“The video really helped us fast track this case,” Morrison said, adding that the two men were carrying ski equipment with them on the bus. “Even though they initially both fled in different ways, we were able to see them meet up again on the bus.”
On Tuesday night, Summit County Judge Edward Casias issued warrants for Dehaan and Small, and the pair were arrested and charged with three counts of second-degree burglary and three counts of felony theft.
“It’s a very rare night when we have three burglaries,” Morrison said. “And it’s a really serious situation when you have a man wearing a ski mask in a girl’s bedroom.”
Dehaan was arrested on felony burglary and assault charges in Garfield County in 2004. He pleaded guilty to the burglary charge and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. He also was arrested by the Glenwood Springs Police Department on suspicion of domestic violence in 2007.
Dehaan was being held Wednesday at the Summit County Jail on a $10,000 bond. Small was in custody on a $7,500 bond.