Burglary may be tied to druggings

Police investigate bizarre incident

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— A woman who wound up with clothes taken from a local clothing store may have been drugged the night of the burglary, police said.

The 28-year-old Steamboat Springs woman walked into the Steamboat Police Department around noon Friday with an armful of clothing that did not belong to her. The sale tags were intact and indicated the clothing came from Kali's Boutique, a shop on Lincoln Avenue that reported a burglary Friday morning.

The woman told police she awoke that morning wearing a shirt that was not hers and missing certain articles of clothing she had worn the previous night. Clothing she said she had never seen was in her room.

"She didn't know how she got them," Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing said.

The woman told police a man she did not know bought her a drink at a local restaurant Thursday evening. Not long after she took the drink she said she became confused and her vision clouded.

"The next thing she remembered, she was rummaging through some clothing on a rack," Fiebing said. "(She said) it was like a dream almost, and she thought there was a male subject with her, but she didn't know where she was at the time."

The woman said liquor has never affected her the way it did Thursday night. She decided to walk home because her home is within walking distance of the restaurant. But she told police she doesn't know what happened after that.

"She thought she might have been drugged," Fiebing said. "When people feel they've been drugged, it goes from having a medium buzz, which they're used to, to literally blacking out."

Police took the woman took the hospital. Initial medical tests indicate she was not sexually assaulted.

Employees of Kali's Boutique reported a break-in Friday morning after they arrived at work to find deadbolts on both the shop's front and back doors unlocked, some clothing strewn on the floor and other clothing and $20 from the cash register missing. Vomit was visible inside and outside the business. The suspect or suspects appeared to try on the clothing, take some items and discard the rest on the floor. The burglars left some personal belongings behind.

There were no signs of forced entry. The deadbolts were opened either by someone involved in the burglary or one may have been inadvertently left unlocked by a store employee.

The owner of the shop told police she thought both of the doors had been locked.

Police are viewing the woman as a possible victim and are pursuing several leads.

The woman's story coincides with similar stories reported during the last three weeks.

Police are concerned someone is slipping date-rape drugs into drinks at local bars and restaurants. Drugs such as Rohypnol, Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate (GHB) and Ketamine -- all well-known date-rape drugs -- have been reported in the community before.

Anyone with information about such incidents should contact the Steamboat Springs Police Department at 879-1144 or Routt County Crime Stoppers at 870-6226.

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