Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — The charges keep piling up against a Monte Vista man accused of committing numerous property-related crimes across southern Colorado.
Just days after they took him into custody for other offenses, authorities arrested George Ross Hanna for identity theft, forgery and first- and second-degree introduction of contraband.
The Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office previously linked Hanna to a rash of burglaries in Alamosa, Conejos, Hinsdale, Mineral and Saguache counties, as well as unspecified criminal activity in New Mexico. His sister, Kendra Lynn Hanna, was also arrested earlier this month following a joint investigation by sheriff’s offices in Alamosa and Hinsdale counties.
The newest charges against George Hanna began to trickle in when he allegedly tried to smuggle contraband into the Alamosa County Jail.
Sheriff’s Lt. Jim McCloskey said that Hanna obtained cigarettes, pills and a set of Taser probes while he was traveling between court appearances on June 14.
During the jail’s re-entry process, Deputy Dick Drews allegedly found the cigarettes on Hanna; a further search revealed that Hanna tried to hide the pills and Taser probes inside his socks.
Not long afterward, a business in Hooper contacted the sheriff’s office to report that someone wrote a forged check to pay for gasoline.
According to McCloskey, the check belonged to San Juan Reflections, a Hinsdale County business that Hanna allegedly burglarized.
Video surveillance from the Hooper business purportedly shows Hanna writing a check for $48. According to McCloskey, Hanna provided the business with another person’s driver’s license number.
By doing so, Hanna could have created problems for an innocent person, McCloskey said.
Victims of identity theft often end up spending time and money to clear their names and credit histories. In 2012 alone, there were about two million reports of similar incidents nationwide, according to McCloskey.
Beyond Hooper, a Valley resident who read about the earlier allegations against Hanna called the sheriff’s office to report that the suspect sold him (or her) a computer. According to McCloskey, the computer was stolen from a Mineral County address.
In addition to the latest charges, Hanna stands accused of burglarizing the Mosca Pit Stop and cashing or attempting to cash fraudulent checks.
According to McCloskey, his office and its counterparts in Hinsdale County linked George and Kendra Hanna to numerous criminal activities.
During a joint effort between the two departments, investigators learned that the brother and sister allegedly cashed stolen checks from Hinsdale County at the Alamosa City Market.
Video surveillance from the store backs up their allegations, McCloskey said in a June 7 press release. Likewise, he said that surveillance footage from the Mosca Pit Stop caught George Hanna in the act of burglarizing that business.
Authorities prepared search warrants to inspect residences in Alamosa and Monte Vista, but the night before they planned to execute them, George Hanna allegedly tried to cash another fraudulent check at City Market. The Alamosa Police Department subsequently arrested him for fraudulent check activity, McCloskey said.
Authorities eventually recovered property that the Hannas allegedly stole from addresses in Hinsdale, Saguache, Mineral and Alamosa counties.
However, McCloskey said that George Hanna refused to help law enforcement agents in their efforts to return property to the alleged victims.
Editor’s note: Due to a typographical error in an earlier press release from the sheriff’s office, the Valley Courier reported that George Hanna is 32 years old. He is 22 years old.