LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – A four-hour SWAT response was called off Thursday morning, after a burglary suspect in Lakewood evaded police.
Lakewood Police told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas the suspect, described as a Hispanic male in his thirties or forties, may be connected to a robbery at a nearby gas station at Union and Mississippi.
“There is a theory that right now maybe these two incidents are related, somehow,” said Steve Davis, spokesman for Lakewood Police.
Police said a similar car was used in both crimes, which led police to connect the two in preliminary investigations.
Police first responded to Rule Engineering, located near 9th and Kipling, at 6:30 am. 911 dispatch received a report of a man inside the property. The employee reported the man was armed.
“We thought there was a very good chance that he may still be in the building,” Davis said.
However, police later realized the suspect had left the scene. Davis believed the robbery happened by the same suspect moments after the burglary was reported by the Rule Engineering employee.
Rich Fellure, a man who lives across the street from the engineering business, said he was about to walk his dog when he found an officer with a rifle in his front yard.
“[The officer] said, ‘Now is not a good time to walk your dog’,” Fellure said.
Fellure was in the middle of the SWAT response, as authorities closed Kipling between 6th and Colfax.
“They pulled one of their SWAT trucks right across the street,” Fellure said, describing video of the response he provided to CBS4.
Lakewood High School was briefly placed on lockdown.
After the scene was cleared, police said they would continue their search.
At the time this article was published, the suspect was still on the loose.
“That does concern me. Especially with the response that happened here,” Fellure said.
Davis said the community should not feel at risk. However, he encouraged everyone to keep his or her eyes out for any suspicious activity.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.