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Woman's wedding ring stolen in trailhead robbery—here's how to prevent it from happening to you

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Posted at 11:17 AM, May 18, 2024

BOZEMAN — Imagine it's a nice day so you go for a paddle down the Gallatin River. You finish up and get back to your car just to see the window smashed and your wedding ring stolen. That's exactly what happened to Lauren Jarosz on Monday night, right in the Moose Creek parking lot.

“The only thing they stole out of the car was my backpack. But the backpack had clothing, my work computer, office keys, and just the jewelry I was wearing that day, including my wedding ring,” Lauren told me.

Lauren has been recreating in Bozeman since she moved here in 2008. She met her husband Tyler while recreating, they married in 2015, and now they love to recreate together.

“How often are you out at trailheads?” I asked Lauren. She told me, “Multiple times a week for sure”. I then asked if this had ever happened to her before and she replied, “Ya, this is the first time I’ve ever had this happen”.

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Lauren Jarosz

Monday evening, Lauren parked at Moose Creek in Gallatin Canyon so she could paddle the Gallatin River. When she returned to her car, just over an hour later, her back window was smashed. Her wedding ring, gone.

“It's unfortunate that it’s kind of a thing we have to think about now,” says Lauren.

Trailhead robberies have become more common as the population in Bozeman rises. I spoke to Jackie Stewart, a Deputy Sheriff here in Gallatin County, about how often they see these trailhead robberies.

“Unfortunately, there is an uptick every summer. As busy as those trailheads get, they are a target for crime,” says Jackie.

Deputy Stewart told me theft is common at trailheads because of how isolated they are. Some trails around Bozeman that are robbery hot spots include the Triple Tree area, as well as most trails down Gallatin Canyon. But Stewart says you can be a target anywhere, so all recreators should follow this advice:

“Being aware of your surroundings. If something doesn't feel right, give us a call. And then just don’t be an easy target by making sure you're not leaving those valuables in plain view, especially,” she says.

Which is advice Lauren says she wishes she followed: “If I could do it again I would’ve left my backpack at my office and picked it up later.”

Lauren says she’s waiting to get a new wedding ring in case police are able to track the original down.

I asked her, “If the person that stole your wedding ring was watching this what would you tell them?”

Lauren says, “I would just ask that they return my ring. The other stuff, like I said, feels replaceable but that's a really personal, special thing to me. And whatever circumstances led them to want to take that, I just hope they can see that I’m a person too and that would mean a lot to me.”

If you have any information regarding Lauren’s stolen wedding ring, or trailhead robberies in general, please contact the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office.