(CBS4) - Charges are pending against a 26-year-old Denver man and a 23-year-old Fort Lupton woman after an investigation determined they allegedly stole multiple vehicles and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of tools. The thefts happened in the Denver metro area as well as in Weld County and Larimer County. Jose Martinez-Gallegos and Graciela Mosqueda are believed to have committed the crimes and are both currently in jail in unrelated cases.
This summer Martinez-Gallegos was under investigation for one of those unrelated case and at the beginning of last month members of a special Weld County law enforcement team visited a storage unit he was renting along with Mosqueda. It turned out that stolen cars were discovered there. Two of the cars had stolen tools inside them. Authorities said they were "packed" with the tools.
A full investigation of the storage unit and some cars that were parked near it determined 8 cars were stolen by the pair. They had a combined value to $113,000. And the stolen tools were worth approximately $140,725.
The items were stolen from several different locations, including Denver, Westminster, Estes Park, Weld County, Firestone and Longmont. The Weld County Sheriff's Office said Denver police have been investigating the theft of nearly a dozen cars from Denver International Airport and Martinez-Gallegos and Mosqueda's thefts are possibly tied to that case.
The sheriff's office in Weld County is leading the investigation and they say they are working to return the cars and the tools to their owners, but in many cases the tools don't have names written on them -- only initials.
"Although that might be helpful if a lost tool is found by a coworker at a job site, it makes it nearly impossible for investigators to identify the owner," the sheriff's office wrote in a Facebook post.
They urged construction workers and residents to mark their tools with their names and phone numbers. They also reminded everyone that tools shouldn't be left out in the open at job sites or in work areas, and should be stored securely when not in use.
Anyone who has information they think might help with this case is asked to call the sheriff's office at (970) 356-4015 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS if you'd like to remain anonymous.
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