With rent prices rising throughout Colorado — and especially near ski areas, where low-income workers provide services for wealthy out-of-towners — plenty of folks are turning to sites such as Craigslist in the hope of finding a bargain.
But there were hidden costs involved in renting a room at a home in Grand Lake, not far from Winter Park resort.
Authorities say the male owner of the home installed hidden cameras that allowed him to capture footage of residents — and the renters he appears to have sought were women.
According to the Grand County Sheriff's Office, the address in question is 295 Mountain View Avenue, also known as Grand County Road 541 — an unpaved route remote enough that Google Maps has not yet captured footage along it. This is the closest look of the area we could get, from U.S. 40 near the entrance to the road.
On Friday, December 11, the GCSO notes, a woman contacted the office to say she thought she'd found a video camera in the bedroom of the house, which she had rented after responding to a Craigslist notice advertising "rooms for females who were working at Winter Park Ski Resort."
A deputy responded to the scene, and before long, he found a small camera and a hidden antenna.
Where was it? Inside the casing of a fake carbon monoxide detector mounted in the bedroom.
At that point, the sheriff's office obtained a search warrant, and before long, law enforcers found more recording devices.
One was inside an artificial carbon monoxide alarm in another guest bedroom, while a second one turned up inside the fan in a bathroom.
The GCSO promptly seized laptop computers that revealed "video evidence of several unidentified victims."
Investigators are now trying to identify those victims, and there could be plenty of them. The landlord, who has yet to be named publicly, is said to have rented rooms at the house for several years.
No rent fee is low enough to justify that.
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If you were among the renters of a room at the address or have any other information about the case, you're encouraged to contact Investigator Pam Peschiera at 970-725-3343.