Suspects Arrested in Connection with PPCC Car Break-ins

By Brian Pharies, reporter

Two people suspected in various car break-ins at Pikes Peak Community College on and off since October were arrested in Las Cruces, New Mexico after allegedly killing a retired police officer during a police chase.

34 year old Daniel Lowell, who is suspected in most of the recent break-ins at PPCC, and Trista Schlaefli, an accomplice, were suspected in a wide variety of other crimes throughout El Paso County.

Lowell was allegedly confronted by PPCC police on two different occasions and escaped both times.

The most notable action was the suspect backing into Officer Mike Peterson’s police vehicle after a traffic stop, then fleeing the scene.

Lowell is suspected of at least 10 to 15 break-ins of vehicles at PPCC, and Campus Police are reiterating that students and faculty should lock all valuables in their trunks, or places that are not visible.

PPCC Police Chief Jim Barrentine said he didn’t think the alleged offenders would be back in El Paso County. He said that “usually the most severe crime, in this case a murder charge, will precede any lesser charges from another county.”

The two suspects are wanted for numerous felony crimes in El Paso County, and according to Chief Barrentine, “The male suspect has enough felony charges in New Mexico for a life sentence, maybe two. It just depends what their court proceedings are.”

New Mexico abolished the death penalty in 2009, and life sentences in New Mexico carry no parole.

“Desperate people will do anything. I implore all students and faculty to keep valuables out of sight, and be aware of your surroundings,” Barrentine said.

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