Burglaries prompt Granby Police warnings about empty homes | SkyHiNews.com

Burglaries prompt Granby Police warnings about empty homes

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado

It was the major increases in their utility bills for February and March that caused a part-time Granby couple to call the Granby Police to have their home checked in April.

They’d been out of state for the winter, and upon an officer’s inspection of their Granby home, found out what they’d feared: Their home had been burglarized, with a broken window causing the spike in heating bills.

The investigation that ensued led to Granby police solving the second of three burglary cases the department has encountered since January.

On June 17, Anisha Fulton, 18, of Granby was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property. The next day, a warrant for the arrest of a juvenile in Idaho, suspected of committing the burglary, was issued.

The elderly couple’s stolen guns and jewelry were recovered, but some other items are still missing as the investigation continues.

Because the crime was reported two months after it occurred, “it makes it more difficult to solve the crime,” said Granby Police Chief William Housley.

But Officers Dan Zacek Smith and Wayne Schafer and Sgt. Jim Kraker experienced a break in the case when an individual accidentally shot himself in the foot with one of the stolen weapons.

Upon learning about the accidental shooting – a county case – Granby police set out to find out more about the gun that was used, which turned out to be one of the stolen items from the February burglary.

At the June 23 Granby town board meeting, the couple publicly thanked and praised the Granby police department for work tracking down their property.

Another burglary case was solved in April when Zacek Smith secured a search warrant and aided by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office and the Fraser Winter Park Police Department, recovered weapons, ammunition, a flat screen television and a DVD player at the residence of John Jeffries, 27, who subsequently was arrested.

Housley said the Granby Police Department is encouraging town residents to contact the department if they plan to be away from their homes for extended periods. The department can try to commit extra patrols to unoccupied residences, he said.

Citizens who wish to notify the Granby Police Department of planned extended absences should be prepared to provide the department the address of the unoccupied property, the dates the property is unattended and contact information for the owner of the property and other responsible parties.

But putting police on heightened house watch does not make them responsible if something does happen, Housley said.

“While extra attention may dissuade criminal activity and increase the probability of early detection of criminal activity, the police department cannot prevent all criminal acts.”

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

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