Fort Collins Police Gun Thief Left Debit Card Behind

There are dumb criminals, and then their are criminals so dumb that they almost defy description.


The man accused of burglarizing two Fort Collins police cars last week and swiping a pair of assault rifles in the process left a bank card with his name on it sitting on the front seat, documents show.

Carlos J. Chavez, 27, was charged earlier this week with the break-in of two marked patrol cars and theft of department-issued rifles in northeast Fort Collins. The brazen overnight crime spree made headlines across Colorado and the country, and arresting documents shed new light on the investigation that included cell phone tracking, bank record evaluations and a little bit of luck.

An officer first reported his patrol vehicle had been broken into at 7:59 a.m. Oct. 24,and a second officer down the street soon learned his vehicle had been burglarized, too.

The driver side window of both officer’s vehicles was smashed, and the Rock River Arms LAR-15 rifle was swiped from each, according to an arrest affidavit. At least one red dot rifle sight, five 30-round magazines – each containing 28 rounds of .223-caliber ammunition – and a flashlight were reported stolen from the pair of vehicles.

A detective processing the scene found a Wells Fargo debit card with Chavez’s name sitting on the driver’s seat of the second vehicle, police wrote.


After getting his phone number from his bank records, authorities were able to then about to obtain a warrant to trace his movements via his smart phone.

It won’t come as a shock to anyone, I don’t think, that Chavez is already a convicted felon banned from the possession of firearms. He faces multiple felony charges for the theft of the rifles, which have not been recovered at this time.

The incident should cause the Fort Collins Police Department to review the quality of their vehicle weapon locks and their firearm storage policies.

Obviously, whatever they are doing now isn’t working.


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