GREELEY -- A Weld County Sheriff's Office strike team investigation recovered eight stolen vehicles and some $140,000 worth of stolen tools from areas throughout Denver, according to a press release.
Deputies arrested two people. Jose Martinez-Gallegos, 26, was in the Weld County Jail on a $63,000 bond related to three unrelated cases. Charges in this recent investigation are pending. Sheriff's office spokesman Joe Moylan said Gallegos' case likely will be referred to other jurisdictions for potential charges.
A Fort Lupton woman, 23-year-old Graciela Mosqueda, was in the Adams County Jail for unrelated charges. Additional charges are pending, Moylan said.
Moylan also noted that the strike team searches for fugitives and conducts investigations into crime rings.
The strike team investigation started Sept. 1 when deputies responded to a storage business near Longmont for a follow-up case involving Martinez-Gallegos. Moylan said deputies found two suspicious vehicles parked near a storage unit. Martinez-Gallegos and Mosqueda rented the unit.
Deputies discovered the two cars had been stolen from Firestone and Westminster. As the owners did inventories on their vehicles, they noticed the cars were full of tools and other items that didn't belong to them.
"To date, investigators have connected recovered property to more than a dozen active criminal cases," Moylan said. The affected jurisdictions include the Estes Park, Westminster, Firestone and Longmont police departments and the Weld County Sheriff's Office.
"Property has also been connected to two active Denver Police Department cases, including an investigation into 11 vehicles stolen from Denver International Airport," Moylan said.
Some of the property has been marked with the owners' initials. Moylan said that may be helpful if a co-worker or someone on a job site finds missing items. He suggested several things:
1) Take an inventory of tour tools, including serial numbers of high-ticket items;
2) Mark tools with yourn name, phone number and company logo;
3) Do not leave tools in the open at the job site or in the bed of a pick-up truck; and
4) Securely store tools, whether it's in a storage container on site or bring tools into a garage at the end of the workday.
Call 970-356-4015 with information about this or any other crime.