Local News

Black Forest Fire thieves targeted cars

Local man blows whistle on bandits stealing from fire victim

BLACK FOREST, Colo. - Colorado Springs police believe items found in a storage shelter Monday night show that thieves were targeting loaded-down cars owned by Black Forest Fire evacuees and not empty homes.

The Black Forest Fire forced tens of thousands of homeowners to evacuate for several days in June. A total of 486 homes were destroyed and 14,280 acres burned.

Police have yet to make an arrest since finding the stolen items inside a storage shelter at American Storage on Vincent Drive.

Investigators are still combing through what they found. Police said the loot includes some stolen items that predate the Black Forest Fire.

"Based on the investigation to this point, they were targeting vehicles in the parking lots -- probably at hotels near Corporate Drive and that area," said Sgt. Mark Chacon with the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Chacon said they found tools, clothing and wallets from at least two Black Forest Fire evacuees. He said the stolen items are similar to what they typically see from thieves who specialize in car break-ins.

"We cannot say they were targeting peoples homes," said Chacon. "We don't have any indication that was occurring."

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