Times-Call (Longmont)

Six indicted for stealing equipment

- By Mitchell Byars mbyars@prairiemou­ntainmedia.com

Six California men were indicted by a Boulder County grand jury and accused of stealing $1 million in constructi­on equipment from sites across the Front Range.

Carlos David Campos, 31; Samuel Armando Arevalo Aguilar, 31; Oscar Orlando Herrera, 58; Francisco Garcia Agueta, 24; Ricardo Antonio Quevedo Rios, 35; and Bayron Arturo Moreno Gomez, 23 were all indicted as part of Operation Wrecking Ball, headed by the Lafayette Police Department.

“I would like to personally thank everyone for all the hard work that resulted a successful conclusion this case,” Lafayette police Chief Rick Bashor said in a statement. “We appreciate each of the assisting agencies.”

According to a release from the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, the six defendants traveled from California to Colorado and would scout constructi­on sites and then return to steal specialty tools and constructi­on equipment.

Prosecutor­s said the group stole more than $1.1 million in property and caused about $27,000 in property damage. Officials believe the group struck at sites in Monument, Aurora, Broomfield, Northglenn, Denver, Greeley, Fort Collins, Firestone, Arvada, Loveland, Brighton, Lafayette, Commerce City and unincorpor­ated Boulder, Jefferson, Larimer, Douglas and Larimer counties.

Lafayette police were able to tie the incidents when it investigat­ed two burglaries on Oct. 29, 2021, and found members of the group were present at both sites at the time of the burglaries.

A Boulder County grand jury returned an indictment on the six defendants on Jan. 26, but the indictment­s were sealed until recently when all six men were taken into custody in California.

The defendants are all charged with numerous counts including violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, burglary, theft and criminal mischief, and bonds were set from $300,000 to $1 million.

All six defendants face a sentence of up to 24 years in prison on the COCCA charges as well as prison sentences on the remaining felony charges ranging from one to 12 years.

Booking photos were not immediatel­y available.

“This crime ring travelled to Colorado for the purpose of breaking into constructi­on sites and stealing equipment,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said. “Their actions had an incredibly disruptive impact on the constructi­on companies as well as the owners of the sites. For their conduct, these defendants will face serious consequenc­es. I want to personally thank the detectives and prosecutor­s who poured a tremendous amount of work into this massive investigat­ion. They, along with our partners, have brought this crime ring to a halt.”

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