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Owner of exterminator service arrested for thefts

The Nov. 1 arrest of Charles Edward Trogdon by the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office has spurred both the opening of an investigation into the man’s activities in Archuleta County and a second arrest of the man on Tuesday in La Plata County.

Trogdon, 49, of Bayfield, was arrested on Nov. 1 for 2nd degree burglary, according to a press release from the LPCSO.

Trogdon is the owner of Professional Extermination, which is believed to have been in business since 1978 with many customers in Archuleta and La Plata counties.

During the burglary for the Nov. 1 arrest, Trogdon allegedly put on rubber gloves and entered the victims’ home after nobody answered when he knocked. The victims had hidden their cars and were hiding in the house, said La Plata County Investigator Dan Patterson.

The victim was hiding, but could see Trogdon and watched him go directly to a nightstand where money was kept, Patterson said.

The victim then reportedly confronted Trogdon.

The victims had discovered money missing several different times over a span of 18 months and had used Trogdon’s exterminating services for eight years, according to the press release.

Another victim reportedly found Trogdon opening a jewelry box and had also noticed items missing over the past two years, the press release noted.

“He bonded out with $25,000 cash within three hours,” Patterson said.

“His M.O. is to spray, get a feel for the layout, befriend the family dog, come back when no one’s around and take small items and part of the cash so it’s not as detectable,” Patterson said, though he added that Trogdon has allegedly cleaned out some customers.

Trogdon is currently under investigation in Archuleta County, said Det. Rich Valdez of the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office.

Patterson said one customer in Archuleta County had $30,000 stolen and that Trogdon was caught in the residence by another contractor. Patterson said the crime was under investigation in Archuleta County.

On Tuesday, Nov. 30, the LPCSO and the ACSO executed a search warrant of Trogdon’s residence located off of La Plata County Road 501 during which 10 stolen guns and $10,000 cash were confiscated, Patterson said.

Subsequently, Trogdon was arrested Tuesday evening for 1st degree burglary, again bonded out within three hours using cash and is currently out on bond.

During a Wednesday phone interview with Patterson, he said his phone had been ringing nonstop since 6 a.m. with people reporting items missing after using Trogdon’s exterminating services and, in fact, Patterson received three more phone calls during the interview.

Anyone with information concerning crimes in La Plata or Archuleta counties or anyone who has used Professional Exterminator is asked to contact Investigator Dan Patterson with the LPCSO at (970) 382-7015 for La Plata County crimes or the ACSO at 264-8430 for crimes in Archuleta County.

randi@pagosasun.com