8 arrested in burglaries at Colorado bike shops and car thefts

The eight suspects have been charged with a total of 227 counts relating to a series of crimes, including 29 burglaries at bike shops and 22 car thefts.

DENVER — Eight people have been arrested and face a total of 227 charges in connection with a month-long string of burglaries and auto thefts, the Colorado attorney general’s office said Wednesday.

The AG’s office said the eight suspects had been charged with a series of crimes, including 29 burglaries at bike shops, 22 auto thefts and multiple attempted burglaries and robberies. The crimes occurred between December 2019 and June 2020 in an area stretching from Fraser to the Denver and Boulder metro areas.

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The value of the stolen cars, stolen property and property damage was approximately $1.5 million, according to the AG’s office.

The AG’s office said the burglary pattern was consistent. After planning a burglary on Facebook Messenger, the suspects in some cases operated as a group to steal either a box truck or pickup truck and then rammed it into the front doors or windows of a bike shop, prosecutors said. In other cases, they smashed windows with large landscaping rocks or other tools.

The suspects then stole high-end ATVs and transferred the stolen goods to others, who prosecutors said took them out of the country. Prosecutors said the group worked with “fences” – people who resell stolen property. Those people moved the bikes out of state and possibly into Mexico, prosecutors said.

The suspects would then abandon the car used in the burglary and leave the scene in another stolen car, the AG’s office said.

Some stores have been targeted multiple times, according to the AG’s office. For example, Giant Cycling World in Littleton was hit four times and Totally Wired Cyclery in Fraser was hit twice. Six businesses were robbed in Boulder County.

In one case, surveillance video showed suspects stealing $90,000 worth of bikes in less than five minutes, prosecutors said.

The AG’s office said few of the stolen bikes had been recovered. The approximate value of the stolen bikes was $985,000 and the approximate value of the stolen cars was $258,000. Total property damage, between vehicles and businesses, was about $231,837, prosecutors said.

The suspects were indicted by a statewide grand jury and the cases were filed Oct. 25.

The suspects have been identified as Kevin Acosta-Larkin, Austin Butler, Gerald Garcia, Maurice Leday, Gregory Melina, Salvador Mena-Barreno, Jason Quijada and Adrian Rocha-Chairez.

The suspects face charges of violating Colorado’s Organized Crime Control Act, aggravated motor vehicle theft, burglary, larceny and criminal mischief.

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