Waldo Canyon fire: 37 burglaries, 28 car break-ins victimized evacuees
Nonetheless, such a patrol did reel in Kip Andy Petersen, who's been charged with impersonating a firefighter -- the second such person to fight such an accusation of late, following Michael Maher, thought to have played dress-up at both the High Park and North Fork fires.
Andersen, clad in firefighting gear, was taken into custody in the Rockrimmon neighborhood. "The officer was just questioning him in that area," Miller points out, "and he pulls out his ID. Which was fake."
Kip Andy Petersen.
Homes weren't the only targets, of course. Many evacuees piled as many of their belongings as they could into their cars and then headed for hotels -- where, for some, their difficult situation was made worse. According to Miller, there have been 66 reports of burglarized motor vehicles since the Waldo Canyon fire began burning, including 25 at hotels. She adds that of the latter 25, "sixteen have been confirmed to be evacuees."
For the CSPD, the search for these scofflaws has a very personal dimension. "We've seen the victims out there," Miller says, "and we've been the victims; we've had police officers who've lost their homes. So it's a very heart-wrenching time to have to take a report from someone who was evacuated and now they've been robbed.
"It's just sad," she adds, "that during times like these, you're going to have people who prey on innocent victims and revictimize them."
More from our News archive: "Waldo Canyon fire update: 70 percent contained, only 100 acres growth."