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Teen pot plant pilfering case expands to five

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John Colson

Sopris Sun Correspondent

It appears that there are now five teenagers accused of stealing pot plants from a Carbondale private garden last summer, after two new names reportedly were added to the original list of three alleged thieves.

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Due to their ages, the teens are not being identified by the Carbondale Police Department, but the department confirmed in late September that three teens had been arrested and were facing felony charges in relation to a series of three incidents that allegedly began last July and continued through early September.

The three teenagers appeared in court in Glenwood Springs on Oct. 8, charged in separate case files, and were instructed to show up again for further proceedings over the coming weeks, according to Ninth Judicial District juvenile case prosecutor Tony Hershey.

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Hershey, who declined to discuss the details of the Oct. 8 court proceedings in a telephone interview, said that two more teens have been added to the overall case, and that they also will be appearing separately for future court dates.

Schilling, who was out of the office earlier this week and unavailable for comment on the additional suspects, said in September that police believed a total of eight plants have been taken in three separate incidents. The plants went missing from a small enclosure made of a wood frame covered with plastic sheeting, and Schilling said that a surveillance video showed three teens entering the structure and emerging with pot plants in hand in at least one incident.

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The three allegedly climbed over a “tall fence” surrounding the pot garden, in order to get to the structure, Schilling said.

One of the three teens, Schilling said, subsequently was implicated in a burglary in Carbondale, which took place earlier in the summer and involved other alleged perpetrators than the teens arrested for the pot thefts.

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Schilling said in September that police believed then that there had been a fourth theft of pot plants, committed by a different person, or persons, than the three teens originally charged.

On Tuesday, Lt. Chris Wurtsmith, filling in for Schilling, confirmed that two additional suspects had been arrested and charged regarding that additional incident, during which the victim’s video surveillance camera was “destroyed,” allegedly by the suspects.

Wurtsmith said that the case overall “is still under investigation.”

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