DA: Car theft ring operating out of downtown Denver broken up

Prosecutors say 19 people were involved in an organized crime ring that terrorized downtown Denver for over a year.

Nineteen people are facing charges for stealing cars, burglary, damaging property and theft throughout downtown Denver and surrounding neighborhoods over a nearly two-year period, the District Attorney's Office announced Monday.

The group said they were part of a 'family' called the Gutter Punk Crew, and some arrested even claimed to be apart of a subset called 'Meth Over B******' (MOB), according to an indictment released by the Denver District Attorney's Office.

Their members used nicknames, including 'Jinx,' 'Fat Fat,' and 'Tiny,' the indictment stated. The 19 members are facing 99 counts between them, ranging from organized crime to car theft to burglary.

The alleged crime spree spanned 21 months, from November 2015 to July 2017. Prosecutors claim the group stole 37 cars valued at over $600,000, often leaving them totaled or riddled with GPC or MOB graffiti on the inside and out.

The thieves would work together, sharing money, items and cars they stole; sometimes the person police believed to have stolen a car wasn't the person inside it when they recovered it, according to the indictment.

Many would often meet up at a building they called 'The Mansion,' which, according to the most recent image from Google Street View, was a rundown house with boarded-up windows on Lawrence St.

The DA's office also accuses the group of causing $30,000 worth of property damage besides the damage to the cars. The document claims the Gutter Punks would spray paint garage doors with their initials, broke parking garage gates while stealing cars, and even operated a bicycle chop shop out of a luxury apartment in downtown Denver for a time.

They're also accused of stealing $40,000 worth of property (outside of the car thefts), including money, several firearms, checkbooks, credit cards, iPads, clothes, jewelry and other miscellaneous items.

The DA says Pablo "Uno" Bleacher, Noah "Ocean" Ferris, Jordan "Ash" Goetsch, Joey "OD" Ingram and Michael "Tex" Rodgers were the ringleaders of the group.

A regular day of theft would allegedly entail one or a few more of the members breaking into secure parking garages at apartment complexes in downtown, LoDo, LoHi, and RiNo. Bleacher and company would follow a tenant's vehicle into a garage, either on foot or in a stolen vehicle - or force open lobby doors to get into apartment complexes. They used stolen garage door openers, entering during business hours or just ramming through the gate, the indictment said.

It accuses the members of then rushing through the parking garage, checking for any cars with unlocked doors.

If they found one, they'd ransack the car, looking for any and everything worth something. They took $5 out of one car. They would take drills, shoes, radios, guns - anything not nailed down.

If they found a key in the car, they'd allegedly steal the car - no matter the car. From a 1993 Honda Civic to a 2016 Toyota 4Runner - and do something called 'car-hopping.'

Members of the group would either use that car to ram their way through another security gate at a parking garage, live out of it, or in one case used it in a burglary, the indictment states.

Some members would try to use credit cards at various convenience stores or a Walmart, prosecutors said. And the merchandise they'd stolen? They'd take that to a pawn shop on Colfax.

The vast majority of the group's alleged crimes were nonviolent, save for one. Sierra Byrne - known as 'Bubbles' in the group - approached someone wearing a necklace on the corner of 24th Street and Larimer on July 6, 2017, according to the indictment. Using a skateboard, Byrne beat up the person and caused serious injuries - but didn't get the necklace.

Through stealing the personal information of their victims, one member used a fake name to rent an apartment in a highrise on Arapahoe St. in LoDo, where the group operated a bicycle chop shop for about a month before police caught on, the indictment says.

The Gutter Punks were caught by police in a number of different ways. Bleacher, one of the ringleaders, left a cigarette butt in one of the stolen cars. Investigators were able to match the DNA on the cigarette to him.

Most of the members were caught inside stolen vehicles.

There could be more arrests coming in the case, as a Gutter Punk member nicknamed "Savage" hasn't been captured or even identified.

The DA says at least 90 people in the metro area are victims.

For now, the 19 named in the indictment have no scheduled court dates. 9NEWS will post updates as they become available.

We've also compiled a map with the many different thefts, burglaries and break-ins mapped out. Each location with a blue marker was hit by the group.

Below the map, you can read the indictment in full. It's 80 pages long.

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© 2017 KUSA-TV


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