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Crime in Our Valley
Life in our valley can be pretty dull in the summer, but sometimes it gets almost too exciting.
Often when we have family or friends visiting, we play musical houses. So it was that the night before they were scheduled to leave, my brother and his wife were sleeping peacefully in the cabin usually occupied by my mother during the summer. They were awakened a little after eleven by the sound of someone in the cabin and they saw the beam of a flashlight. When they called out, the intruder fled, taking with him all the cash he had found in a wallet and purse, leaving by the same back door he had found unlocked.
Calling 911 resulted in a quick response from the Sheriff’s office, including one unit that came all the way from Boulder. They found a suspect, and were certain he was the culprit, but didn’t find enough evidence to hold him.
Coming up the South St. Vrain the next morning, I passed a bus just after it had burst into flame. It was an old school bus, fortunately without passengers, on its way to Covenant Heights. Apparently, it had stalled on the hill just east of Glacier View, and the driver, having flooded the engine, had pumped enough raw gas into the carburetor to overflow. When the gasoline hit the hot engine the whole front of the bus went up. The driver escaped without injury and in a few minutes the volunteer fire department, with Mike Osmun in the lead, arrived to douse the flames but the bus was a total loss. The Sheriff’s units arrived shortly afterward and diverted traffic from the canyon to the Riverside road, both top and bottom, so except for a few vehicles caught in between, the traffic continued to flow.
We like to think that ours is a fairly crime-and-disaster-free area, and according to the records, that’s true. We spend our summers trying to make a living, cleaning up the highways, feeding the birds, taking walks, reading books, getting ready for the bazaar, going to meetings about our various concerns and in general just trying to get by with as little hassle as possible. Still, every once in a while, we do have some excitement, usually brought on by things like not remembering that the hills are steep and the altitude does funny things to both people and machines, and there are people who will rob you blind if you give them half a chance.
We are fortunate indeed to have Sheriff Epp’s people on the job, and, although crippled, our own fire department can still put out a fire.
Let’s hope the rest of the summer is really dull. And remember to lock those doors
© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner
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