RANGELY | In a plot twist worthy of The Goonies, two young Rangely residents made quite the discovery while hiking near Dragon Trail Road this week.
Logan Popham and Warren Peterson were enjoying the outdoors with family when they decided to explore a nearby cave. Inside, they discovered not buried treasure, but a cache of stolen firearms. They reported back to the grown-ups, who called the authorities.
Rangely Police confirmed in a statement Wednesday the guns are the very same stolen from Rangely True Value last fall and are being examined for evidence .
“Eventually, after everybody gets done with any evidence and whatever court proceedings, it will be still be some time, but down the road eventually we will (get the firearms back),” owner Rodger Polley said via phone. The guns were wrapped in several layers, and Polley was told they are in great shape despite spending a winter in the desert.
Polley said the boys’ findings are “very cool” for everyone and the boys are heroes in his book.
Kudos to Logan Popham and Warren Peterson for this new break in the case, and for notifying adults right away. Enjoy those BB guns!
More on the burglary:
The Sept. 30 burglary, characterized by Rangely Police Chief Ti Hamblin as a “smash-and-grab,” occurred around 11 p.m., with the suspects returning to the store two additional times during the early morning hours of Oct. 1. It is believed that the same suspects broke into the store again during the early morning hours of Nov. 4. No firearms were stolen during that break-in.
On Dec. 12, the Rangely Police Department arrested a 16-year-old juvenile who was taken into custody for his alleged involvement in the burglary. The unidentified juvenile faces the following charges: juvenile in possession of a firearm (two counts), possession of a defaced firearm and unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon. The juvenile was identified during the course of the active and ongoing investigation. It’s believed additional suspects were involved.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are assisting the Rangely Police Department with the investigation. Additional assistance in the investigation has come from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
The ATF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) have partnered to offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this crime. Anyone with information should call ATF’s Tip Line at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (283-4867) or the Rangely Police Department at 970-675-8466. Callers to the ATF tip lines can remain anonymous.
By NIKI TURNER | email@example.com