Jan 11, 2011 7:59 PM by Zach Thaxton
The thieves who stole the cremated remains of the wife of a Black Forest widower Sunday also apparently ransacked another nearby home the same morning while two young women were sleeping in the basement.
Burglars entered Bob Herrle's home on Delwood Drive sometime Sunday morning while he was at church, stealing thousands of dollars worth of electronics and other items, including a small wooden box containing the ashes of his wife Terry, who had died from cancer two years prior.
The same morning, burglars entered the home of Larry and Deborah Bowin, about a half-mile west of Herrle's home. Most of the 8 people who live in the home, including foster children, had left the home at around 9:10 a.m. to go to church. The couple's daughter and daughter-in-law, ages 18 and 21, were still asleep in the basement. The burglars unlatched a large metal gate at the end of a 100-yard driveway, backed their vehicle to the front patio, opened the hatch, and walked in the home's unlocked front door.
"It took them approximately 25 minutes to trash my house," Larry Bowin said. "They got into our file cabinets in the closet and pictures and stuff like that. They just went through and ransacked everything." The older of the two young women sleeping in the basement heard loud noises and strange voices coming from upstairs and went to investigate, but ended up face-to-face with the burglar.
"She said all she could do was scream, 'Get out!'," Bowin said, "and he took off out the door and she closed the door and locked it and called 911."
Before leaving, the burglars filled laundry baskets full of jewelry, electronics, important files and banking information, and even Bowin's collection of antique and collectors' rifles, including ammunition. Bowin said he had planned to hand the guns down to his son and had hoped they would be handed down through future generations.
The burglars fled in what appeared to be a silver SUV. Neighbors had reported a suspicious vehicle in the area Sunday with Colorado license plate 665-UXF. A silver Honda Pilot with that plate number had been reported stolen January 4, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
Bowin said he's willing to offer a personal reward of up to $1,500 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects. He also said his biggest concern is that Bob Herrle gets his wife's ashes back. "If nothing else, just turn in her remains," he said.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office says they have very little information on possible suspects. The Bowins' daughter-in-law who came face-to-face with the burglar described him as a thin white man in his late teens or early 20s wearing a grey or white hooded sweatshirt. They remind neighbors in the Black Forest area to lock all doors and windows, even when they're at home, and to be vigilant in paying attention to surroundings and any unusual activity.
Call the El Paso County Sheriff's Office at (719) 390-5555 if you have any information that can help in the investigation.