1st Stop robbed; window-breakers busted

       The 1st Stop (formerly Farm Crest) store at 2105 W. Colorado Ave. was robbed at knife-point the night of Jan. 26.
       No one was hurt.
       Two suspects wearing sports jackets with the hoodies down over their faces made off with an undisclosed amount of money.
       Store manager Cecie Weldon said she thinks the theft was gang-related. She believes the same twosome (one white, one hispanic) had “cased out” the store three days earlier; also, the day before the robbery the store bathroom had been “tagged” (spray-painted with gang grafitti), she said. Police later told her this is often done by gangs to indicate that a store is on their list.
       “We knew they were going to rob us; we just didn't know when,” Weldon said.
       She added that it was the first time the store had been robbed in 16 years.
       Three suspects have been arrested in a recent rash of car-window breaking on the Westside and in Manitou Springs.
       According to the Colorado Springs Police Blotter online, the breakage had occurred nightly from Jan. 26 until the arrests by Manitou Springs Police Jan. 29.
       Police identified the suspects as Matthew Loutsenjhizer, 21; Sarah Wehsein, 21; and Brian Pittman, 20. The suspects face numerous charges, including criminal mischief and conspiracy. The Colorado Springs Police Department asks for reports on any broken windows that occurred between Jan. 26 and 29. The Gold Hill Police Substation phone number is 385-2100.

Westside Pioneer/press release