May 7, 2012 10:19 PM by David Ortiviz

Cops probe whether "antique stealers" linked to other crimes

It was quite a find for a Florence antique store manager. $10,000 worth of stolen merchandise found at a Colorado Springs flea market. The suspects were caught red-handed and now police are investigating if this is connected to a rash of break-ins.

April 6th--It was closing time at Oil City Merchants in Florence, but a burglar was lurking inside the antique shop. "Hid under, behind a counter, behind a cabinet," said the manager who wanted to be called "Pete."

The alarm wasn't working, so when the staff went home the crook went on a shopping spree. The took fishing gear, collectible coins and one-of-a-kind jewelry.

Police think another suspect waited outside with a getaway car. They almost got away with it.

Weeks later, Pete says he stumbled upon his stolen merchandise, miles away in Colorado Springs. "They were selling it at the flea market and the flea marketers probably got it and still own it right now, stolen merchandise," said Pete.

Pete called police and the suspects, Timothy Roath and Audrey Urban were both arrested. Officers seized their car and a trailer filled with merchandise. "There's still a long way to go on this investigation because of the magnitude of it," said Det. Mike Delaurentis, with the Florence Police Department.

Florence police are now investigating if this is tied to a rash of other recent break-ins. "In Florence alone we've had approximately 13 burglaries over the last couple of months," said Det. Delaurentis. Other businesses have been targeted, as well as churches.

Det. Delaurentis says merchants should have safeguards. "Install a security system where you have good shots of people coming in and out of the front doors or back doors," said Det. Delaurentis. "And be vigilant of people in the store. If they're acting a little suspicious call 911, call the police," he added.

Oil City Merchants has fixed their alarm and are hoping to recover some of the stolen property.

As for the suspects, Roath and Urban are being held in jail on a $3,000 bond. Both are due in court on Tuesday.



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