High Country Crime: Steamboat Springs bear targets string of unlocked cars | SummitDaily.com

High Country Crime: Steamboat Springs bear targets string of unlocked cars

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Residents in a Steamboat Springs neighborhood are on alert for a bear that has been targeting their cars.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is aware of the issue.

"Everyone needs to remember to lock their vehicles and the main level doors and windows," said Christy Bubenheim of Parks and Wildlife.

Andy Heppelmann, who lives on Highland Circle in Steamboat, said his neighbor had her unlocked car broken into Sunday night. The next day she had her car detailed to clean up the mess, but the bear returned Tuesday and targeted the same car.

“They have figured it out. ... If you’re leaving your car unlocked, a bear can break in.”Andy HeppelmannSteamboat resident

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Heppelmann said he also found one of his car doors open.

"They have it figured out," Heppelmann said.

It is not unusual in Steamboat for there to be bears that know how to open car doors. They are often attracted to the cars because of food or other smelly items inside.

"If you're leaving your car unlocked, a bear can break in," Heppelmann said.

Elizabeth Mitchell, who lives on nearby Alexander Way, said her son woke up to the sound of a car horn at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday.

A bear was inside his car.

"The whole inside of his car is trashed," Mitchell said. "Neither front door will open."

After attacking that car, the bear targeted another car in the area.

"It's been a problem," Mitchell said.

—Matt Stensland, Steamboat Today

Leadville jury acquits woman on drugs and weapons charges

A jury did not believe that a woman shorter than 5 feet tall posed much of a threat to two police officers, and while they were at it, they cleared her of the drug charges, too.

It was 6:45 p.m. June 14, 2016, when Kymbr Trujillo, 28, 4-foot-11 and 105 pounds, was outside a Leadville store with her young daughter when Dep. David Basile with the Lake County Sheriff's Office spotted her. Basile confirmed that there was an arrest warrant for her, so he arrested her.

According to court documents, while Basile was searching Trujillo's purse, he found a zebra-striped bag. In that bag was a small pink and blue metal box with "Kymbr" engraved on the top. In that bag were plastic bags containing a "clearish crystal substance" and a "white powdery substance," Basile said in his reports.

Basile said methamphetamine was in one large bag and three smaller bags. He said cocaine was in one larger bag, two medium sized and five smaller bags.

He said he also found $120 in cash and three pocket knives in the purse.

Trujillo was charged with a string of drug felonies, as well as threatening the police because of the pocket knives. She faced up to 32 years in prison. As their final plea deal, Jim Fahrenholtz, Trujillo's attorney, said prosecutors offered his client eight years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea. She decided to take her chances at trial.

"Mandatory prison for something like this?" Fahrenholtz said incredulously.

Of the 12 bags found in Trujillo's purse, police only analyzed the two smallest ones, Fahrenholtz said. While they contained small amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine, the other 10 bags were not analyzed.

During the trial, police insisted that, based on their experience, the other bags also contained cocaine and meth. However, they could not prove that to the jury's satisfaction, Fahrenholtz said.

The jury also walked Trujillo on the weapons charge for the pocket knives, with blades less than 3 ½ inches long, Fahrenholtz said.

"The cops decided they were potentially deadly weapons because they were within her reach," Fahrenholtz said. "The prosecution had to show that she possessed them with intent to cause serious bodily injury to the cops. Two cops? One tiny woman with her daughter with her? This was the most overcharged case in the world."

—Randy Wyrick, The Vail Daily

Carbondale teens steal truck

Carbondale police arrested two boys in a stolen truck in the Roaring Fork High School parking lot Monday morning.

Officers received reports of a possible stolen truck on Colorado 133 and Main Street.

A white Ford F-150 bearing "GWP Great Western Painting" had been stolen from Glenwood Springs early that morning. A company employee had followed the truck to the area and was reporting to Carbondale officers, according to a police report.

Both boys in the vehicle were found to be about 14 to 15 years old, according to the police report. Officers eventually found them parked in the Roaring Fork High School parking lot.

The two were released to their parents, but they were issued summons charging minor in possession of marijuana, minor in possession of alcohol and driving without a license. It is yet to be seen whether the truck owner will press charges in the vehicle theft.

—Ryan Summerlin, Glenwood Springs Post-Independent