Phone Home

Seeing stars and stealing cells.

There are a million stories in the naked city. Here are two of them.

On March 13, 28-year-old ShaShawna Shelton reported her Kyocera cell phone stolen to the Denver Police Department. Here's her account, exactly as it appears in the DPD files:

"I was arrested on the night of the 5th and my cousin Thomas was there. I asked him in front of the officer if he couldn't find my uncle's number in the house, that it was in my phone if he could call and ask him to bond me out. Me, his mom and his sister, Tavia Yorks doesn't get along. My grandmother, Quizzie Yorks, said she told him to leave the phone and he ran out the door with the phone and my daughter, Ja'taivia. I called the police from jail to have my phone and my daughter returned to my grandmother but the officer they sent out said she looked ok and left her there and nothing about my phone. I was released on the 9th at twelve at night and went straight to my grandmother's house to discover they brought my daughter back to my grandmothers but still no phone. I called his mom, Shirley Yorks-Thomas, and her exact words were 'Bitch, you ain't getting shit from my son, it's his phone now, and quit calling me before I file a harassment report like Audrey did,' which is a girl I use to hang out with and started to hang with them and started taking sides. I have been in touch with the police that work at Montbello High School and they have been trying to confiscate the phone but he has been ditching school every day. I left the number to the shelter on the phone for people to contact me and I got a call saying that he answered the phone at 7pm tonight and said that I wasn't there that they'll tell me who called. And at 8:03pm, I received a message from a whole different person that said 'Your cousin answered the phone talking shit and said don't call no more.' And a couple other messages with them playing on the phone and people asking for them on my phone. They both live at the same apartment where Shirley and Tavia beat Paula in the head with a bat. I was there when that happened which is why I'm doing it this way. I want to press charges on Tavia and Thomas for the theft of my cell phone and if damaged I want them to pay for it. I also have witnesses here at the shelter knowing that I had just bought and paid for my phone."

Off Limits tried to contact Shelton to determine the fate of her phone, but her e-mail address, fattygirl@msn.com, is now defunct, and dialing the number for the cell phone got us the news that the number is no longer in operation.

Shelton wasn't the only one having phone problems. Early in March, 29-year-old Colorado Springs resident Norman Escalera discovered his car had been stolen. It was recovered in Denver, and he picked it up at a city impound lot. Two days later, on March 10, he noticed a blue bag in the car containing a cell phone. Suddenly the phone rang, and he answered. "The caller asked the victim if he could bring the bag and the cell phone to them in Denver," states a police incident report. "The victim agreed and traveled back to the 2500 block of Welton Street." There Escalera met two males in their late teens, who got into his car. After thanking the kind driver for returning their possessions, the teens advised him that they had a gun and told him to get out. Escalera obeyed, and the thieves drove off, once again leaving Escalera carless.

Pray as you go:Just down the street from the spot where Escalera got jacked is a building at 2485 Welton Street that was once a True Value hardware store -- and then a major pain for the city and the Small Business Administration, after the owners failed to make payments on their loans. Finally, the structure was auctioned off -- and today it's the Kingdom of Glory Christian Center, with services offered throughout the week.

But if you don't have time to park and pray, not to worry. The church has installed a handy "drive-by prayer box" at its entrance that may look like your standard, side-of-the-road mailbox -- but this receptacle boasts a very special delivery. Direct to God.

Next time Escalera visits the big city, he may want to stop here first and make a deposit. Otherwise, he may not have a prayer of keeping his ride.

The bus stops here:Until this week's traffic jams, a lot of people took the Regional Transportation District's service in stride -- hopping the free mall shuttle to shop at the LoDo Tattered Cover, taking the light rail in from Littleton to avoid having to park at the Pepsi Center for an Avs game.

But on Monday, drivers were parking at the farthest stretches of the Pepsi Center for the Rockies game -- and glad they only had to pay ten bucks and walk fifteen blocks for the privilege.

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