Merchants in Black Forest and Cimarron Hills are breathing easier after authorities arrested two people suspected in a series of burglaries.
"We've been through the (June) fire and floods," said Carolyn Negilski, an employee at Spirit Keeper Tavern. "We feel a little beaten up out here. The burglaries were kind of a slap to the face."
According to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, more than 20 break-ins were committed at businesses in the above communities since mid-September. The total would have been higher had alarm systems not discouraged the burglars in several instances.
"It was a little nerve-wracking, especially when you're closing up at night and you don't know what might be waiting out in the parking lot," said Negilski.
According to residents who declined to be interviewed, the Mormon church in Black Forest was among the burglary targets. Residents said a laptop and tools were stolen from several locations.
The Sheriff's Office said it recovered a large amount of stolen property.
Hunter Cody Shackelford, 23, was arrested on multiple counts of second-degree burglary. Kylie Jo Mardon, 22, was arrested on two counts of providing false information to a pawn broker.