The suspects linked to a huge Colorado Springs burglary ring apparently felt that accidentally being hit by a car was as big a threat as getting caught snatching and grabbing, since at least one crew member is said to have worn a reflective safety vest near crime scenes. Unfortunately for him, though, that vest turned out to be tremendously unsafe, at least in terms of maintaining the wearer's freedom, and that of his pals. Seven people have been busted for what law enforcers estimate as 110 burglaries and the theft of items valued at $100,000. Booking photos and details below.
In mid-February, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, residents living in the Monument and Black Forest areas began reporting a rash of residential burglaries.
Investigators quickly concluded that these incidents were linked, since multiple victims reported seeing a person wearing a reflective safety vest near crime scenes.
Info about the vest was quickly passed to assorted neighborhood-watch groups in the area, and before long, a tip ultimately led deputies to one Ernesto Quintana, age 24.
The identification of Quintana led to the targeting of more suspects. In all, seven search warrants were executed, with recovered property -- jewelry, cash, appliances, firearms and motor vehicles among them -- valued at more than $100,000.
There was so much stuff that at one location, deputies had to rent a 26-foot U-Haul to carry all of it away.
The EPCSO says at least 110 burglary cases have been cleared by the busts of Quintana and six alleged associates: Jake Cox, 27; Robert Bowick, 25; Winter Womack, 22; Richard Flewwellin, 41; Jose Hernandez, 36; and 28-year-old Ekaterina Dettling, whose Facebook page includes this portrait....
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...and this recently posted graphic: Presumably, members of the sheriff's office are under no such illusion. Continue to see mug shots of the other suspects arrested in the "safety vest" burglary ring. Continue to see mug shots of the other suspects arrested in the "safety vest" burglary ring.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa March 20: "Photos: See the fourteen people arrested in $450K meth ring bust."