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Make strong challenge to theft arrest where proof is lacking

Sometimes in Colorado or other states a person is being sought for separate criminal allegations in two, three, or more localities at the same time. With respect to theft and property crimes, such offenses do sometimes occur in serial form with a string of offenses carried out by the same perpetrator over an extended period. At times, however, police departments may tend to “pile on,” where they appear to gravitate to someone already identified and seeming to fit the general description of what they’re seeking. That natural tendency, however, can lead to people being arrested for something they didn’t do; and, it is one of the important reasons why a criminal defendant should always attempt to consult with defense counsel right away, preferably even prior to the initial arraignment.

Police in Arvada arrested a 35-year-old male and a 29-year-old female on charges of stealing a trailer filled with ammunition that is owned by an Arvada ammo shop. When the owner of the ammo relayed a tip to the police, they found that the couple had already been arrested in Denver and were incarcerated. The Denver charges included felony drug charges, theft and weapons offenses.

When the Arvada police moved in to make their arrest for the ammo theft official, they found that the couple had been taken into custody by the police in Huerfano County. In that locale, the charges were drug possession, vehicle theft, trespassing and obstructing an officer. The couple remains in Huerfano County to face court proceedings prior to being moved to Arvada.

The interesting issue here arises from the fact that the Arvada police may be acting on a mere tip, without having found any of the contraband. Colorado press reports are inconclusive on that point, but CBS Denver has reported that the “products they stole are still missing.” Regardless which products they are referencing, the failure to find the contraband on one or more of these arrests makes the theft arrest or arrests problematic and, subject to a potential serious challenge.

Source: CBS Denver, "2 Arrested In Ammo Heist Suspected In Other String Of Crimes", , July 19, 2014

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