ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A jury in Durango, Colo., on Wednesday found a longtime exterminator guilty of multiple felony counts for entering his customers’ homes in La Plata and Archuleta counties and stealing their personal belongings, The Durango Herald reported.
Charles Edward Trogdon, 51, faces up to 12 years in prison after the jury convicted him of 16 counts and acquitted him of 11 other charges, The Herald said. Sentencing is set for March 15.
Authorities accused Trogdon of stealing valuables from his customers’ homes over a 30-year period, using his position as owner of Professional Exterminator to enter homes and steal cash, tools, guns and jewelry — at times during his regularly scheduled visits, at other times returning to homes and breaking in while homeowners were away, the paper reported.
He was arrested on Nov. 1, 2010, after a woman watched him enter her home without permission and open a dresser drawer where money had previously been stolen, The Herald said. The woman confronted Trogdon, who acted nervous and removed gloves from his hands.
Authorities later obtained multiple search warrants on his properties and recovered dozens of items that had been reported stolen, the paper reported.
10:25am 12/15/10 — Accused Four Corners Exterminator Out of Jail Again: Bond reduced for La Plata County, Colo., man suspected of multiple burglaries.
Charles Edward Trogdon, 49, the La Plata County, Colo., exterminator suspected of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property from multiple properties over the past three decades, got out of jail again on Tuesday after posting $1,000 bond, The Durango Herald reported.
Trogdon has been arrested and has posted bail at least four times since Nov. 1 as part of a still-growing investigation that covers multiple jurisdictions in the Four Corners, The Herald said.
The owner of Professional Exterminator in Bayfield, Colo., Trogdon is suspected of entering his customers’ homes while they were away in order to steal jewelry, cash, guns, tools and collector coins, the paper reported.
In his most recent arrest, District Judge Jeffrey Wilson set bail at $750,000, but on Monday La Plata County Judge Martha Minot reduced bond to $1,000, saying Trogdon already had posted a large sum in the ongoing investigation, The Herald said.
Trogdon has posted about $100,000 in bail as new allegations keep surfacing, according to the paper.
8:10am 12/1/10 — Bayfield, Colo., Exterminator Accused of Burglarizing Customers: Businessman arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing cash, jewelry, guns.
The La Plata County (Colo.) Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday arrested Bayfield, Colo., businessman Charles Edward Trogdon, 49, for allegedly stealing from customers of his pest-extermination business in two southern Colorado counties, The Durango Herald reported.
Trogdon, who is facing first-degree burglary charges, was released on a $25,000 cash bond, The Herald said.
“So far, there have been six victims in Archuleta County and three in La Plata County,” sheriff’s investigator Dan Patterson told The Herald. “The suspect has stolen probably upward of $40,000 in cash, $20,000 in jewelry and $7,000 in firearms.”
Trogdon, whose Professional Exterminator business was run out of his home since 1978, is believed to have gained the confidence of his customers, even making friends with the family dog, and would return when the owners weren’t home, Patterson told the paper.
“He knew how to get in the house,” Patterson said. “People would leave a door open for him or tell him where to find a hidden key.”
Trogdon was arrested Nov. 1 after being confronted by a homeowner who was hiding when Trogdon entered the house and went directly to where some cash was hidden, The Herald said.
Initially arrested for second-degree burglary, Trogdon now faces a first-degree burglary charge after sheriff’s deputies searched his house and allegedly found a stolen rifle, Patterson told The Herald.