by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — Local law enforcement agencies are making progress in solving a rash of holiday season burglaries that have plagued Walsenburg residents and businesses in the past few weeks.
On November 30, the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at a residence in the 600 block of Pennsylvania Ave. Sheriff’s deputies were assisted in the search by Walsenburg Police Department Sgt. Joe Hibpishman. A press release from Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman said the warrant was the result of an investigation of a burglary of a private residence in Walsenburg, and property recovered in that case included swords, knives and jewelry.
Stolen items were also recovered associated with one of the two burglaries suffered by Corine’s restaurant and a recent burglary at the Silver Dollar tavern, according to WPD Lt. John Rodriguez.
The suspects associated with the search warrant are juveniles and were not named by the sheriff’s office.
Rodriguez said as many as four of the recent burglaries may be solved during the current ongoing investigation.
In addition, city police made an arrest early Saturday morning, Dec. 3, when an alarm was activated at the old Washington School located on 5th St., which now houses the RE-1 School District’s administration offices.
Police responded to the alarm sometime before 2 am and conducted a building search using the department’s K-9 and one male adult suspect was found hiding in the building.
Jose Osorio, 28, was arrested on charges of second degree burglary (class 4 felony) and second degree criminal trespass. A $15,000 bond was assigned on the felony count and the suspect remains in custody in the Huerfano County Jail on a state probation department hold.
Rodriguez said on Monday, that while progress is being made in these cases, residents and business owners can do a lot to protect themselves from thieves by ensuring doors and windows are locked and by securing high value items.
Another practice that can help burglary victims recover their property is to keep a list of make and model information including serial numbers of items such as guns, electronic items and other property most sought after by thieves. If property is recovered through a search warrant or by other means, this list can help positively identify a person or businesses property and it can be returned to them when the criminal case has been completed. Another method is to use an engraving tool or stylus to mark one’s property with an initial, name or other symbol specific to the owner, however a social security number is not advised to be used.
And while the City of Walsenburg doesn’t have a formal Crimestoppers or Neighborhood Watch program, neighbors looking out for one another is also an advisable crime prevention tool. If suspicious activity is observed, unknown vehicles or individuals lurking in a neighborhood for example, report that activity to law enforcement and you may help prevent a crime.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward