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$18K trail signs for the blind stolen in Genesee Park

Posted at 2:31 PM, Jun 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-07 20:48:19-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. – Trail signs designed to enhance the experience for sight-impaired people are being stolen, and Jefferson County deputies want to talk to a man recently caught on camera.

The Braille signs began disappearing in April from the Beaver Brook Trailhead and the Chavez and Braille Trails in Genesee Park. The stolen 37 Braille interpretive signs are valued at more than $18,000.

Kelly Mitchell, who is visually impaired, is an avid hiker. The stolen braille signs is the closest she can get to feeling what she can’t see. 

“It's great to be able to get that information and to be able to understand what's going on around," said Mitchell.

Mitchell is left with more questions than answers as to why someone would steal braille signs from a park.

“I just want to know why. It's just doesn't make sense to me that they would do that. It just seems pointless and ridiculous,” said Mitchell.

Investigators are calling the man caught on video May 14 as a person of interest. He was seen stealing a laminated paper sign being used as a replacement for one of the stolen signs.

The man appears to be between the ages of 55 and 65 years old, with white hair but bald on top. He was wearing a blue jacket with white lettering on the left breast, light colored cargo pants, and carrying a dark colored backpack. He was accompanied by a small black dog that was off-leash.

If you recognize this individual or have any information about these incidents, please call Investigator Fehringer at (720) 497-7860, the Sheriff’s Office tip line at (303) 271-5612, or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867); reference case number 17-13308.