A rash of car break-ins at trailheads throughout Grand County since early June may have been put to a stop.
Grand County Sheriff’s Office deputies recently served a search warrant on a house in Hot Sulphur Springs and located and recovered an estimated $100,000- to $200,000-worth of stolen property, according to a press release from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
Robert Robinson, 62, the owner of the home that turned up the stolen property, was arrested on Dec. 27, by Leon Valley Police, based in Texas, and is being held in Bexar County Jail, also in Texas, while he awaits extradition to Grand County to face charges on an estimated 18 to 20 criminal cases for burglaries and car break-ins.
The charges he will face in Grand County spawn from a number of the stolen items that have been linked to cases in Grand County. Items recovered from the house have also been linked to numerous criminal cases in Texas.
The first report of a car break-in at a trailhead came on June 9, according to Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson. “We started getting similar reports on a regular basis after that,” he said.
On July 12, Grand County Sheriff Deputy Nate Macchione responded to a report of car break-in at the Darling Creek Trailhead, located in the Williams Fork Valley. While investigating the scene of the crime, Macchione noticed a smear of blood on the back of the driver’s side seat in one of the vehicles that had been broken into.
Macchione took a sample of the blood and it was later sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s crime laboratory.
On Dec. 20, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office was notified that the DNA from the blood sample matched that of Robinson, who had a previous criminal record from Texas.
After further investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, it was discovered that Robinson had purchased a home in Hot Sulphur Springs and on Dec. 21, Macchione and several other deputies searched his home.
The search turned up a substantial amount of stolen property, including 60 firearms, numerous pieces of jewelry including two Rolex watches that are estimated to be worth $10,000 each, two trailers allegedly stolen from Texas, and a jet ski and a hot tub allegedly stolen from Texas.
One of the firearms recovered is believed to be linked to a 1997 burglary and another firearm is possibly linked to a 1984 crime, according to Johnson.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office has not yet been able to complete the necessary research on all of the items that were seized from the home and continues to work to catalog the stolen property.
Every room in the house contained stolen property, according to the press release.
At the time the deputies searched the Hot Sulphur Springs home, Robinson was in Texas supposedly visiting family, according to Johnson. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office contacted officers in Texas, who located Robinson at an address that was linked to his criminal record there and arrested the man on a Grand County warrant.
“I’m really proud of what our guys did and how hard they worked on this,” Johnson said. “Their hard work paid off in the end.”
Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334