Grand Lake burglary ring concludes with stiffest sentence
The legal saga of six people involved in a Grand Lake burglary ring wrapped up earlier this month with the harshest sentence yet.
The six defendants were connected to more than 40 burglaries from late 2017 to early 2018 in the Grand Lake area. They have all been sentenced after entering plea deals.
The Grand County’s Sheriff’s Office arrested the six in August 2018 in connection to the burglaries at homes between Grand Lake and Granby. The following 16 months brought missed court dates, plea deals and sentences ranging from unsupervised probation to five years in prison.
“The resolutions of these six cases represent a balancing of factors,” the District Attorney’s office said in a statement.
Colin Sabo, 44, was the last sentenced and he received the longest term of the group. Earlier this month, Sabo was sentenced to five years in the department of corrections after he pleaded guilty to felony aggravated theft and failure to report to probation.
Sabo was given credit for 178 days served. Other conditions of his sentence included two years of mandatory parole and restitution to be determined within 91 days.
According to the statement from the district attorney, factors like the strength of evidence against each defendant and their culpability, as established by the available evidence, contributed to the resolution.
In October, prosecutors said in court that Sabo’s sentence was more severe than another defendant’s because of his deeper level of culpability and knowledge of the crimes.
Sabo was initially arrested with Candice Hewitt, 33, and the four others in August 2018. However, both he and Hewitt failed to appear for court in January. Denver police apprehended the pair in June.
Hewitt was sentenced in November to two years in the department of corrections after pleading guilty to felony theft and failure to report to probation. She was given credit for time served of 156 days and also must pay restitution.
Jorge Varela, 29, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft between $750 and $2,000 in October. He was sentenced to two years probation after the district attorney dismissed a felony charge of second-degree burglary. Varela must also perform 48 hours of community service and pay restitution.
Varela has seen multiple cases in the courts, including an alleged kidnapping case. The district attorney’s office also pointed out that prior criminal history and other open cases were considered during sentencing.
Paul Asbury, 47, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of misdemeanor theft in May. He was sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation and ordered to complete 120 hours of community service. Part of Asbury’s sentencing required him to undergo a mental health and substance abuse evaluation.
In August, Asbury pleaded guilty to stealing rare coins in another theft case, which nullified the deal from the burglary ring case. He was sentenced to a year in jail and fined over $1,000.
Adam Pritt, 25, pleaded guilty to felony theft in February and was sentenced to one year in community corrections in May. Pritt was initially charged with a class five felony for theft between $5,000 and $20,000, but he pleaded that down to theft between $2,000 and $5,000, a class six felony.
Joshua Miles, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft last November and was sentenced to 18 months in community corrections in January. He failed to appear for his initial sentencing hearing Jan. 17 but was taken back into custody one day later.
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A surge of car thefts and break-ins across Grand County have police reminding people to lock their cars, remove valuables and not leave the keys in the car.