Carjacking suspects in custody following manhunt in Yampa
Combined Emergency Team staging in Town of Yampa
March 4, 2016
Steamboat Springs — Editor’s note: this story was updated at 12:13 p.m.
Three people are in custody following a manhunt in the Yampa area Friday morning.
Although the suspects’ identities have not been confirmed, Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said law enforcement officers were searching for three teenage suspects who were involved in a carjacking in Aurora early Thursday morning.
The Steamboat Today reported Thursday evening that one of the suspect’s phones had been detected in the Oak Creek area, according to the Routt County Sheriff’s Office.
South Routt Elementary School in the town of Yampa was under lockout — different from a lockdown — at midmorning March 4 as the Routt County Combined Emergency Team was called out to respond to an incident on Routt County Road 7, which leads south of the town of Yampa toward Yamcolo Reservoir and the Flat Tops Wilderness Area.
The lockout was lifted at 11:55 a.m., according to school administrators.
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South Routt Superintendent Darcy Mohr said the 130 students at the school are safe. Parents were notified by text, e-mail and voicemail of the school's status — no one was allowed to enter the school while the lockout is in effect.
"We got a call from the Routt County Sheriff (Garrett Wiggins) at 9:10 a.m. this morning," Mohr said. “All they said was they wanted us to go under lockout. There is a Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer with its (vehicle) light flashing outside the school.”
The Sheriff’s Office contacted Yampa residents on Friday morning telling them to lock their doors and to call law enforcement if they saw anyone strange or unfamiliar.
Yampa is 30.4 miles south of Steamboat Springs.
The difference between a lockout and a lockdown, she said is that the latter would indicate there was a threat inside the school and more extreme measures would be undertaken to safeguard students and faculty. That was not the case at South Routt Elementary Friday morning.
Members of the Combined Emergency team are staged at Montgomery's General Store in Yampa, where the beginning of C.R. 7 is blocked.
Mohr said South Routt Middle School and High School, 9.4 miles north of Yampa, in Oak Creek are not under lockout, but school administrators have been alerted to the situation in Yampa.
This story will be updated as more details become available. Reporter Matt Stensland is on the scene.