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Community Corrections escapee arrested for burglary

Posted: Friday, Jul 5th, 2013

John Frederick Walter

Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — John Frederick Walter has an extensive criminal record, with a history of arrests that stretches from Durango and La Plata County to Glenwood Springs, Crowley County and Garfield County.

But the legal system offered him an alternative to incarceration in state prison for his crimes, so the 40-year-old man wound up at San Luis Valley Community Corrections in Alamosa.

His stay there was cut short, though, when he allegedly severed a monitor on his ankle and forced his way into a local business.

According to a press release from Alamosa County Sheriff’s Lt. Jim McCloskey, Walter allegedly broke in to True Grits Steakhouse some time on or before June 24.

He then proceeded to break liquor bottles, punch holes in the walls and steal a pair of shoes from the business, while leaving his own shoes behind, McCloskey alleged.

Witnesses later reported they noticed Walter’s hands were injured. They also claimed he was wearing the shoes from the steak house.

After a detailed investigation, Alamosa County Sheriff’s Cpl. Judy Jackson tracked Walter down and arrested him for burglary, felony escape, criminal mischief and theft. Jackson also obtained a search warrant to recover Walter’s property, as well as a court order for samples of Walter’s blood and DNA.

McCloskey said that cases such as Walter’s come at a heavy cost to the county, since his office is now responsible for housing and feeding him.

He also criticized the legal path that led Walter to Alamosa, noting that one of the suspect’s previous arrests was for nine counts of burglary.

“He’s a major felon, and yet he’s in a halfway house that he can walk out of at any time,” McCloskey said.

Although it’s saddled with one more burden in this case, the sheriff’s office always welcomes tips that may help authorities during their investigations into other incidents.

“Law enforcement is grateful for the citizens who come forward and provide us with the needed pieces of the puzzles that help solve crimes,” McCloskey said.

If you would like to report something but want to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at (719) 589-9111. Any information you may have will then be forwarded on to a law enforcement agency in your area.

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