Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Vicky Dorvee

Theft and suspicious behavior in 2nd Avenue stores


August 28, 2019

Courtesy photo Three women and a young boy were reported to the Boulder County Sheriff’s office after they left Osmosis Art and Architecture and reportedly stole at least one item from the business on Tuesday, Aug. 20. Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s department at 303-441-3600.

Thieves targeted four retail stores on 2nd Avenue in Niwot last week according to reports from the businesses. Late afternoon Tuesday, Aug. 20, Niwot Jewelry & Gifts, Osmosis Art and Architecture, and Niwot Wheel Works were targeted by three women and a young boy where items were reportedly shoplifted. The same group, but with more people, apparently returned Thursday afternoon and hit Wise Buys Antiques, where money from the cash register was taken,according to owner Tim Wise.

The strategy used was the same at each shop. The group immediately spread out and one member commandeered the attention of the store staff as the rest of the group wandered around and allegedly stole items in at least three instances.

In the case of Osmosis Art and Architecture, a small item was identified as missing. It is believed that the theft occurred while owner Anne Postle was being asked about a piece of art upstairs in a far corner. Security cameras recorded a video and produced a still photo of the group. Postle reported the theft to the Boulder County Sheriff and provided the images taken during the incident.

“It’s pretty nervy to return to the town,” Postle said. “It’s an unusual occurrence in Niwot, that’s for sure. We feel so trusting and safe, but we have had thefts in the past and that’s why we have cameras.”

Niwot Jewelry’s Jason Scarbrough said the same group came into the store late Tuesday afternoon and, as they meandered around, he believes they stole a pair of earrings worth under $100.

A group matching the same description went down the block to Niwot Wheel Works and engaged employee Fernando Tapia, who was on his own in the store. Tapia was asked to help the boy with a bike outside the store while two of the adults stayed inside. When the boy rode the bike more expertly and quickly than Tapia had been led to believe he could, he became suspicious and immediately went back inside and found the women milling around the back of the shop.

Tapia said the women asked if they could buy a bike at half the marked price and when he declined the offer, they acted upset and left. Owner Eric Bergeson said it doesn’t appear that anything was stolen. Tapia also recognized the group from the photo taken at Osmosis.

Late Thursday afternoon, Aug. 22, the group returned, but with an additional adult woman and several more children, and entered Wise Buys Antiques. Owner Tim Wise said two of the women inquired about an item in a room away from the cash register.

“While two of them were keeping me busy in another portion of the shop, I heard the cash register ring,” Wise said. “I rushed up and two of them were in the vicinity of the cash register.”

He said he didn’t confront them, because he was very taken aback and the store was hectic with other shoppers at the time. But he had the presence of mind to follow the group outside and watch them get into a blue Honda minivan. He was able to record part of the license plate number. He said he checked after the group had left and is certain that at least one $100 bill was missing from the register and three antique dolls were missing from a display.

Wise has looked at the photo from Osmosis’s cameras and said it was the same people who came to his store. He’s also filed a report with the sheriff’s department.

Stores in Cottonwood Square Shopping Center did not experience similar suspicious activity.

Because the investigation is active, the Boulder County Sheriff’s office was unable to comment on the incidents.


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