WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Westminster police say the man arrested in a violent yard sale robbery on Saturday did not commit the crime. A couple in their 70s held the yard sale at a home near 102nd Avenue near Sheridan Boulevard.
Investigators say the couple in their mid-70s noticed the bag disappeared. Then the woman confronted the suspect who was already inside a truck. Police say she reached inside to grab the bag, but the suspect drove away, pulling the woman a short distance before she fell.READ MORE: Investigators In Arvada Shooting Look For Motive & Gunfire Sources
“Following the arrest of Mr. Armando Valdez Gonzalez, the District Attorney’s Office completed a thorough review of the facts and circumstances and made a final determination not to file charges against Mr. Valdez Gonzalez,” officials stated.
The district attorney’s office issued a statement on Wednesday that read:
“On June 5, 2021, Mr. Armando Valdez Gonzalez attended a yard sale at a home in Westminster. The female homeowner believed that Mr. Valdez Gonzalez stole and was in possession of the bag she was using to carry cash for the yard sale.
The woman confronted Mr. Valdez Gonzalez, but he informed her that she was mistaken and that the bag he was in possession of belonged to him.
“The woman and her husband did not believe Mr. Valdez Gonzalez, and they attempted to prevent him from leaving the location. Mr. Valdez Gonzalez, who was in the front seat of his truck with the window down, drove away from the area.
“When he did so, the woman fell to the ground and sustained injuries as a result of the fall.READ MORE: 50% Of Coloradans Fully Vaccinated Against COVID, Hospitalizations Reach Lowest Level Since October
“Mr. Valdez Gonzalez contacted police to inform them of the incident and to assure them he did not steal a bag containing money from the yard sale. Mr. Valdez Gonzalez’s wife also gave her husband’s bag to police so they could review it. It is a bag he often uses when visiting yard sales.
“The female homeowner also reviewed the bag and confirmed it was not hers. The woman’s husband later called police to inform them that they had, in fact, found their bag from the yard sale.”
Investigators say the facts make it clear the original allegations arose from a “regrettable mistake and misunderstanding.”
“Not only did Mr. Valdez Gonzalez commit no crime, he took every opportunity to contact the appropriate authorities,” officials stated.
Officials said the homeowners were informed of the information for their decision and understood and agreed with it.
The City of Westminster released this statement to CBS4: Based upon information received on June 5th, 2021 officers were able to establish probable cause to arrest Mr. Valdez. That conclusion was the result of the initial investigation that included statements from numerous independent witnesses. Officers followed proper procedures and arrested and jailed Mr. Valdez.MORE NEWS: Audit Finds Colorado Program To Flag Opioid Abuse Is Failing, Dozens of Doctors Running 'Pill Mills'
During the subsequent investigation additional details and facts came to light that led detectives to believe that Mr. Valdez did not commit this crime. Part of that information included that the crime did not occur the way it was initially reported. Detectives immediately requested the case be reviewed by the district attorney’s office and requested that charges not be filed.