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Police: eight gang members arrested for series of burglaries

Northside Mafia accused gang members arrested

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Police say eight gang members are under arrest for a series of burglaries in Colorado Springs and El Paso County. They're calling themselves the Northside Mafia.

Colorado Springs Police arrested eight suspects. Police say one suspect is a 16-year-old.

20 burglaries in both Colorado Springs and El Paso County since October put police on a hunt for the criminals.

"One of our police officers had spotted one of our suspects walking down the street from a burglary from the day before," said Colorado Springs Police Detective Alan Marks.

That suspect told police about the Northside Mafia: a gang accused of burglary, theft and providing false information to pawn brokers.

"We're glad to see that they're getting caught," said Hallenback Coin Gallery owner Tom Hallenbeck.

Police say the Northside Mafia sold some of their loot to Hallenbeck coin gallery.

"We had no idea when they were coming in because an individual would sell one piece or somebody else, you know one at a time," said Hallenbeck.

With the store's surveillance cameras, detectives linked the suspects to a stolen coin.

"We didn't know it was an organized crime at the time, but I'm glad they were able to catch some of these criminals," said Hallenbeck.

Entertainmart is another victim of the Northside Mafia. Police say suspects sold a stolen 70 inch TV there.

The people involved in a rollover crash at the family dollar store in Walsenburg on January 7 were suspects in the burglary ring.

Out of the 20 cases, a total of four handguns and family heirlooms were returned to their rightful owners.

"It means that we have eight people in jail right now and the citizens were a lot safer and we were able to return a lot of property," said Detective Marks.

Springs police are working with the District Attorney to bring organized crime charges against the suspects.  If those charges are added, it'll mean more time behind bars if they're convicted.

Law enforcement agencies across the country including Colorado Springs Police use a tool called Leads on Line. All of the pawn shops in El Paso County report both pawned and purchases items to the database. It automatically checks serial numbers against NCIC/CCIC stolen property. CSPD has received hits on stolen property pawned as far away as Florida.

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