Teen arrested in connection with car theft | SummitDaily.com

Teen arrested in connection with car theft

SILVERTHORNE – It’s not a small town anymore, warn local police.

Nine cars were stolen recently, most belonging to local residents. In all cases, the drivers had left their keys in the ignition or in the center console.

Thursday, Silverthorne police arrested a man who confessed to those thefts.

Kamil Cichowski, 18, of Silverthorne, was booked into the Summit County Jail and is being held on a $53,000 bond – a high amount for a property crime.

Cichowski might not have been caught at all had local firefighters not become incensed when they noticed a teenager littering. They yelled at the youth to stop dumping trash from the car he was driving into the Summit Place Shopping Center parking lot. In his haste to leave the lot, the boy backed into another car, then took off.

Silverthorne police found the car and the driver, and then discovered the car was stolen. They quickly linked that stolen car to several others that had recently been stolen.

The juvenile driving the stolen car at Summit Place was not Cichowski, but Cichowski got wind of the fact that police were looking for him. He called police and turned himself in.

“He talked to me and said he was in trouble and he was looking for some way to get out of the mess,” said Silverthorne Sgt. Mark Hanschmidt, who convinced the teenager to turn himself in.

All nine vehicles, which were parked in obscure locations throughout Summit and Clear Creek counties, were recovered.

Cichowski said he never broke into or hot-wired any cars.

“He would walk by cars in parking lots, look and see keys,” Hanschmidt said. “It was an opportunity crime.

“He has good taste. He stole a lot of four-wheel-drive cars – a couple of Ford F350s, a Chevy Silverado, a Ford Expedition. He was just having a grand time stealing cars.”

This isn’t Cichowski’s first brush with the law. He already had two warrants out for his arrest, both for failure-to-appear violations stemming from traffic-related citations.

Hanschmidt said other locals should learn from Cichowski’s arrest.

“It gets back to common sense,” he said. “Keep your keys in your pocket. Lock your vehicles. Don’t leave them running when you’re going into the post office.”

Life in Summit County, he said, is no longer like living in Mayberry, U.S.A.

“We like to think so, but unfortunately, we do have the crime some of the big cities do,” Hanschmidt said.

Four local teenagers were arrested Wednesday by sheriff’s officers on suspicion of stealing a Ford Explorer, which officials later discovered was a town of Breckenridge vehicle. Police could not confirm Saturday that the two incidents are related.

Jane Reuter can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at jreuter@summitdaily.com.

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