Man Arrested for Arson, Vehicle Theft at Fort Collins Hotel
The technology installed in new vehicles can benefit drivers in so many different ways. Handy backup cameras and automatic brakes are just a few of the features that assist when operating cars, and you never know when these types of things could help save a driver's life or avoid an accident altogether.
Something else technology-related that can be helpful to vehicle owners, is having a geolocation feature installed. A Fort Collins woman recently used this feature to help police locate her stolen vehicle, which led to a flurry of other events ultimately resulting in an arrest.
According to Fort Collins Police, the incident occurred on February 25.
After the woman's vehicle was stolen, she was able to use the geolocation feature and saw that the car appeared to be sitting stationary at a hotel on Oakridge Drive. Officers quickly drove to the hotel and recovered the vehicle in the parking lot.
While investigating the scene, officers located another stolen vehicle nearby. This vehicle had been reported missing out of Boulder.
At this time, officers believed the suspect/s were inside of the nearby hotel. Police proceeded to set up containment around the area and came up with a plan to access the room. While doing so, dispatch relayed a call they received in which someone was claiming to be being held hostage in one of the rooms of the same hotel. Law enforcement determined this to be a ploy in order to divert their attention from the suspects at hand.
Officers then attempted to get the suspects to exit the hotel room in a voluntary manner. While standing at the door, police began to smell smoke coming from the room. With the situation now being an immediate safety concern, officers forced entry through the door.
Two men were found in the bathroom of the hotel room. The suspects had set a fire which an officer was quickly able to extinguish. It was later learned that the fire was started in an attempt to destroy registrations and other documents associated with the two stolen vehicles outside.
Officers were concerned that one of the suspects had ingested a large amount of illegal narcotics, so he was transported to a local hospital. Following his release, the suspect, identified as 37-year-old Kevin Pitzner, was arrested on a variety of charges including motor vehicle theft, first-degree arson, drug possession, tampering with evidence, and false reporting. He remains in custody at the Larimer County Jail with his next court appearance on March 7, 2022.
The second suspect was not arrested as police are still trying to determine his involvement. The investigation remains ongoing.