BOULDER, Colo. - Boulder police say they have arrested a man linked to more than 50 burglaries in the University Hill area.
Investigators suspect that Daniel Stewart Cooper may also have committed unlawful sexual contact against a woman and he's suspected in several vehicle thefts, said Boulder police spokeswoman Kim Kobel.
Police said Cooper might be connected to as many as 100 burglaries which occurred on University Hill between April and September of this year.
Cooper was arrested Sept. 5 after two victims of a home burglary saw him walking nearby, carrying the victim's stolen backpack and laptop, Kobel said.
"We did a double-take, and sure enough, this guy was wearing my roommate's backpack," said Dylan John, one of the CU students who stopped Cooper. "We opened up the backpack and my laptop is in the backpack."
The victims called police and, although Cooper had fled, officers found him hiding in some bushes on University Avenue, Kobel said.
Police said the confrontation happened across the street from the police station.
Officers said they drove Cooper around the neighborhood and he pointed out residences that were burglarized the police didn't even know about.
Cooper is accused of fighting officers during the arrest, and he faces charges of assault on a police officer, obstructing a police officer and resisting a police officer, Kobel said.
Police records show Cooper has been talking to officers about his alleged crimes, saying he has targeted one fraternity at least ten times.
Police said they believe Cooper was mainly looking for drugs during the burglaries, but he's also suspected of stealing electronics and other items he came across in homes.
Cooper only targeted unlocked residences and Kobel said he made himself at home.
In many cases, the doors were not only unlocked but left open, and Cooper would help himself to food, alcohol, clean clothing, a shower and various personal toiletries, Kobel said.
In many instances, residents were home and asleep when Cooper entered, Kobel said. In a few cases, residents confronted him during the burglary and Cooper often pretended to know someone at the home. Those victims allowed him to leave peacefully without contacting police.
The string of burglaries underscore why people should lock their doors. Police said Cooper repeatedly burglarized several residences where doors were routinely left unlocked.
Investigators believe Cooper committed an additional 34 burglaries in Boulder, but those have not been reported to police, Kobel said.
Cooper currently faces the following charges:
- 23 counts of second-degree burglary
- 1 count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a previous offender
- 1 count of unlawful sexual contact
- 4 counts of second-degree assault on a police office
- 1 count of resisting a police officer
- 1 count of obstructing a police officer.
Cooper is being held in the Boulder County Jail. Charges for the vehicle thefts are being evaluated by the Boulder County District Attorney's Office.
Police asked anyone with information about these burglaries to call Detective Kristin Weisbach at 303-441-4474. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776.
Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimeshurt.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.