Strange Colorado Crime Stories From 2015

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Growth and development, newcomers and Mile High rent dominated much of the conversation in the city in 2015. But there were also lighter, funnier and just plain weirder stories, too. Here are some of our favorite strange but true events involving crime. Find the rest of our Year in Review in print this week and on our blog.

A marriage ended badly in March when firefighters responding to a home burning in Arvada found the message “My wife is a cheater” spray-painted on the outside. Police arrested William Lindauer shortly thereafter and charged him with arson, stalking and eleven other crimes. According to news reports, Lindauer also told police that his wife had cheated on him. The home, which exploded, was declared a total loss.

An idiot who tried to shove a jar full of gasoline through a bank’s overnight drop box and set it on fire nearly set his own face on fire in September. The man rode up to a Wells Fargo location on his bike and can be seen pulling various things out of his backpack on the bank’s surveillance video — which then shows a massive flame leaping over him. The fire was out — and the man out of luck — by the time firefighters responded to the scene.

Denver police arrested a man two days before Halloween after someone reported that he’d been having sex with a scarecrow that was being used as part of a Halloween decoration display. “Oh, I’m not supposed to do that?” the man asked an officer, according to police reports.

A seventeen-year-old girl who stole a cell phone from a woman at a bar in March busted herself when she started using the phone to take selfies all over town. That’s because the phone was set so that it would upload all pictures to the owner’s Facebook page. So when the owner spotted the pictures, she was able to take them to police — and they tracked the scofflaw.

“Of course I have cocaine up my nose. It’s Aspen.” Those were the words reportedly uttered by a 34-year-old Snowmass Village man, who was busted by police in October for laying out lines of cocaine on a bench near Little Annie’s restaurant.

A man who was about to rob a Quick Save convenience store on Ward Road in January decided not to carry out the crime when he recognized the store clerk. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the would-be robber went up to the counter, looked at the clerk and then said, “I was going to rob this place. I know you. Do you know me?” When the clerk said “No,” the man said “Good,” flashed a thumbs-up and walked out. Police say the Thumbs Up Robber later held up a store where he didn’t know the clerk.

Police in Castle Rock arrested two men in February after they pulled over the stolen car the two were piloting and found it stuffed with hundreds of toys. In fact, news reports said, there were so many toys that one of the men was nearly buried in them. At first the men said they were driving to Limon to deliver the gifts, but they later admitted they were going to the town to buy pot. The origin of the toys — and the reason they were in the car — remains a mystery.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.