A man who police say broke into the La Plata County Humane Society Thrift Store and stole a safe faces two to six years in prison after pleading guilty this week to felony burglary.
Calob Harris, a 23-year-old from Alamosa, admitted this week to stealing thousands of dollars, jewelery and electronics after breaking into the thrift store through a back office. Police said in arresting documents that Harris threw a baseball-size rock through a manager’s office window to gain entry to the building.
Law enforcement said Harris moved the safe, estimated to weigh hundreds of pounds, with a toboggan, dragging it out the back door. Harris is a former employee of the thrift store and likely had knowledge of alarm systems, the location of security cameras and what items would be of most value.
The office did not have cameras, but the retail area did. Upon review of the surveillance footage with employees of the thrift store, law enforcement identified the man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a bandanna covering his face as Harris.
Durango Police Department contacted Harris two days after the burglary in a hotel room in the 2900 block of Main Avenue. Harris denied involvement in the burglary and consented to a search of the hotel room.
Law enforcement found $2,200 in cash; a small, clear plastic bag with a white powdery substance; and a hypodermic needle under a mattress. Police also found a gray hooded sweatshirt matching the one worn by the person in the thrift store surveillance footage.
Harris, in an interview at the police station, told officers all the money was his, that he worked to save it as friends and family sent it to him and that he was in the process of moving into an apartment and needed the money to deposit his rent.
“During the interview, Harris became upset, saying I was ruining his life and requested an attorney,” police wrote in arresting documents.
Harris asked District Court Judge Todd Norvell to sentence him earlier this week, but the judge denied his request and ordered a pre-sentence investigation report to determine the most appropriate consequence.
Whatever his sentence, it will run concurrent, or at the same time, to punishment in four separate cases: a 2016 case out of Alamosa County, a 2016 case out of Pueblo County and two 2015 cases out of Rio Grande County.