Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Police just emailed to say Billie the dog has been returned to her owner after being nabbed during a car theft Tuesday.

The email from the police is below.

Wicked witch car thief nabs little dog, too

The suspect

AURORA | A woman who stole a car from an Aurora parking lot Tuesday also stole the dog laying inside, police said. 

The crime happened around 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Target store on South Havana Street near East Mississippi Avenue. 

Police are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information about the woman who stole the dark blue Honda Fit and the 4-year-old dog named Billie. 

Kristine Hipps, Billie’s owner, said she set her keys down at the service counter while buying cold medicine and a woman behind her in line snatched them. 

The woman later went to Hipps’ dark blue Honda Fit and drove away. 

Billie was laying in the back on her blanket during the theft, Hipps said. 

The woman who stole the car is described as white or Hispanic and in her late 30s, police said. When she left the store the woman first went to another car and drove around, watching to see which car was Hipps’, police said. Police have not released a description of that car or the man inside. 

Hipps’ car is described as a four-door, dark blue Honda Fit hatchback with Colorado license plate 132-TZC. 

Billie is a German short hair and border collie mix. She has  white fir speckled with black spots and a black fir surrounding most of her head and eyes. 

Hipps said the dog has a microchip and tags with her name and phone number and was wearing a leash when she was taken. 

Police are asking anyone with information about the crime to call police at 303-739-6000. 

Note: Pics are courtesy of APD, click them to enlarge. We will update this story with more shortly.

Fed prosecutors get award for Zazi case

The US Attorney's Office in Denver just announced awards for the prosecutors who worked on the Najibullah Zazi Case. 

Zazi was the Aurora man arrested on terrorism charges after investigators say he plotted to to launch an attack on New York City in 2009. 

Click below for the release. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fire causes $50k in damage

AURORA | A fire caused $50,000 in damage to an Aurora townhouse Wednesday, fire department officials said.

Nobody was injured in the blaze, which started around 4:20 p.m. in a townhouse at 11981 E. Ford Dr.

According to a statement from Aurora fire, 24 firefighters using six trucks battled the blaze and had it under control by about 4:40 p.m.

By the time crews arrived on scene, everyone in the house had fled and there was smoke coming from the second floor. 

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Click below for a couple pictures courtesy of the Aurora Fire Department. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Possible slaying at Clinton Street apartments

Police are investigating a possible homicide at an apartment near Clinton Street and Montview. Our story is below the jump.

The picture at right is of the apartment building Friday night.

It was a gut-wrenching scene in front of the building Friday evening. Our photographer and I arrived there around 6:30 p.m. and family members were huddled together, many sobbing over the woman's death. Others looked like they still hadn't processed what happened to the woman. The family had been looking for her for a few days before her body was found Friday around 3:30 p.m.

Police have not confirmed that the death was a homicide, only calling it suspicious. Family members said Friday they believed the woman was murdered. 

I expect to have an update before Monday's paper, check back here for it.

In a sad twist, the apartment where police found the woman dead Friday is on the same block, just a few buildings down from, the building where Aurora code officer Rodney Morales was gunned down in November 2008. After the story I've posted some links to past coverage of the Morales case.

Aurora businessman gets year for lying on tax return

An Aurora businessman has been sentenced to a year in federal prison after prosecutors say he lied on his tax returns, failing to report almost $150,000 in income. 

In addition to the prison sentence, Phillip Allen Worack, 53, was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. 

Click below for the release form the United States Attorney’s Office in Denver.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ICE announces record arrests

The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency today released arrest figures for fiscal year 2010. 

According to ICE, the agency set a record for overall removals of illegal aliens with more than 392,000 removals nationwide. More than 195,000 of those were convicted criminals, ICE said. 

In ICE's Denver area of responsibility, the agency removed 6,617 people, 4,447 of which were convicted criminals, ICE said. 

Click below for ICE's release an a chart detailing the removals. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Three stores sell booze to underagers in ArapCo Sheriff sting

The Arapahoe County sheriff's office just released the results of a recent alcohol compliance check. 

According to a release from the sheriff's office, three stores sold alcohol to underage buyers, including two — SmartCo Foods on South Parker Road and Camelot Liquors on Smoky Hill Road — that are near the Aurora border. 

Click below for the sheriff's office release. 

CBI lands $1.7 million grant to battle mortgage fraud

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation announced this morning it received a $1.7 million grant from the United States Department of Justice to help battle mortgage fraud. 

Click below for the release from CBI. 

Aurora woman died in Monday crash

A woman who died in a rollover crash Monday near Interstate 25 and I-76 was from Aurora, the Colorado State Patrol said Tuesday.

Anjte Jones, 65, was driving a blue 2001 Toyota Van on the ramp from eastbound I-76 to northbound I-25 when the Toyota traveled off the right side of the road and collided with a concrete barrier.  After the collision, the Toyota drove off the left side of the road and rolled, State Patrol said.

Jones was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Troopers said alcohol and drugs are not believed to be factors in the crash. 

The crash remains under investigation. 

Click below for the CSP's original release on the crash.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fire causes $130k in damage

A Monday morning fire caused about $130,000 to a home near South Tower Road and Smoky Hill Road, a fire department spokesman said. 

Nobody was injured in the blaze, which started around 11:45 a.m. in a home in the 4800 block of South Tower Way. 

Capt. Al Robnett, a spokesman for Aurora fire, said a 13-year-old boy was alone inside the home at the time of the blaze but made it out safely before fire crews arrived. 

The cause of the blaze is under investigation. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Juvenile shot after car break in

A juvenile was shot in the torso early Friday by a man who caught the boy breaking into the man's car, police said.

No names have been released and the shooter was released without charges. Police said the DA's office will make the final ruling on charges.

The boy's injuries are not life threatening, police said.

The incident happened  in a neighborhood near South Tower Road and East Floyd Avenue.

We will have more in Monday's paper. For now, click below for the APD news release.

Update on drunk who drove through MLK Day crime scene

Jason Michael Cooper
Just got word on the outcome of the Jason Michael Cooper case.

Cooper, who was 24 at the time, is the man police say drove drunk through police tape at a crime scene and slammed into a police cruiser while police tried to investigate a fatal shooting Jan. 19.

We reported yesterday that a jury convicted Ishmael Figueroa, of first-degree murder for his role in the shooting.
Cooper wasn't connected to the shooting, but he became a character in the subsequent investigation which made me wonder what happened to him.

A spokeswoman for the DA's office said a judge in March gave Cooper a suspended 365-day jail sentence and one-year of probation for his DUI. And he had to complete 48 hours of community service.

Police said at the time of Cooper's crash that it wasn't clear if Cooper's drunken journey through the crime tape hampered their investigation. Judging by the guilty verdict for Figueroa, it couldn't have hurt too much if at all.


Cops: Robbers to survive gunshot wounds, no charges for clerk

Last week's bizarre liquor store robberies won't result in charges for the clerk who shot two would-be robbers, police said Friday. 

And it appears the two robbers will survive their injuries. One has already been released from the hospital and taken to jail.

Click below for our updated story on the case.

Longer Gilbert story up

Velma Gilbert, recently acquitted of murder.
I wrote a lengthier version of the Velma Gilbert acquittal story for our weekend edition. It includes more details about the shooting as well as more comment from the prosecution and the defense.

Here is a link to the longer story:
With conflicting accounts of shooting, jury acquits Velma Gilbert

The original story has sparked a bit of a firestorm on our comment section, apparently between feuding family members. Read it here.


Suspect in Sept. 22 shooting not expected to survive

Isaac Martinez, 31
Police today released the mug shot of a shooting suspect who they say shot himself last week as a SWAT Team tried to arrest him on multiple charges. 

Police do not expect Isaac Martinez to survive his injuries. 

Click below for our story on the latest developments.

Fall DUI crackdown coming

The Colorado State Patrol just announced they will be cracking down on DUIs this month.

According to the release from CSP and the Colorado Department of Transportation, October has proven to be a busy and dangerous month for drunk drivers.

Click below for the release from CSP and CDOT.

Updates to shootings last week

We have some updates on a shooting near East Mississippi Avenue and South Chambers Road and a botched liquor store holdup, both of which happened last week. 

First, on the shooting, police today said Isaac Martinez remained hospitalized after shooting himself last week as police closed in. He isn't expected to survive. Martinez's brother in law, who police say Martinez shot, is expected to survive but remains hospitalized. 

And on the liquor store shootings, police said the two suspects — Marcel McMichael, 34, and Henry James 37, — are expected to survive. McMichael was released from the hospital yesterday and taken to jail. James remained hospitalized. The store clerks who shot the pair are not expected to face charges. 

We will have brief stories on each case later this afternoon. Check back here for updates.