Transient arrested for Keystone burglaries |

Transient arrested for Keystone burglaries

A Summit County transient broke into three houses in the Keystone area early Friday morning. One of them had a security alarm, which led to the arrest of Brad Koczot, 24, after sheriff’s deputies and officers from Silverthorne and Dillon arrived on the scene.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office reported Koczot was arrested on two counts of second-degree burglary, criminal mischief, theft, criminal attempt of forcible entry and possession of burglary tools. He is being held in the Summit County Jail. Bond was set at $37,000.

Koczot, whose address is a tent near Montezuma, was apprehended with a cordless telephone and answering machine stowed in his car.

The Sheriff’s Office said Koczot may be linked to other burglaries and is asking people with information to call the office at (970) 453-2232.

Police reported Koczot was at work on a house at 640 Elk Circle when he tripped an alarm about 1:16 a.m., bringing Deputy Ed Hendricks to the scene. By the time Hendricks arrived, Koczot had moved on, but soon, the sound of another forced entry and footprints told where.

Meanwhile, Hendricks noticed foot prints in fresh snow leading from the roadway toward the front door of 640 Elk Circle and along the side of the house.

The prints led him to a broken window, which proved to be the access point Koczot used to gain entry. Hendricks called for backup and was assisted by Deputies Bryon Colvin and S.J. Hamit, Silverthorne Police officers Jennifer DeMatoff and Amy Papile and the Silverthorne K-9 Unit – Officer Gerald Bozarth and his dog, Jaluka. Office Bo Schlunsen of the Dillon Police Department also assisted.

While investigating 640 Elk Circle, where authorities found evidence of stolen property, Hendricks heard the sound of splitting wood coming from another nearby residence. He tracked prints in snow to 21 Wapaiti Way.

Officers found a broken window and numerous pry marks on the window frame. Officers then followed more tracks to 0250 Elk Circle, where they found an open garage door and heard noise inside the residence. Police surrounded the home.

Koczot fled out a basement window at a full gallop and was taken down by Hendricks and Colvin, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

Jaluka then led officers to more tracks heading toward homes where Koczot had not gained entry.

Police noted that while Koczot’s tracks were located at and around a few other homes in the immediate area, he chose to break into two homes that were poorly lit.

Homes that had more lighting, indicating that someone may have been home, were not broken into, police said.

Koczot has had other brushes with the law: a traffic offense, controlled dangerous substance charges and for poaching a shower at Exhibition Station in Keystone.

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