California siblings robbed at gunpoint in Garden of the Gods

May 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Trail Boss News

A brother and sister from California were robbed at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon while hiking in Garden of the Gods park, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state, Colorado Springs police said.  The robbers fled in a white van after taking a wallet, handbag and camera, according to police. The camera was later found by another hiker in the park. Joan Kunkler, 57, and Jim Kunkler, 56, of San Luis Obispo, were on a trail  near the main parking lot around 1 p.m. when two men came up behind them, Joan Kunkler said. After the men passed them, they turned around and pulled a gun, telling them to hand over their wallet and handbag.

“We’re here because we wanted to to see Garden of the Gods and we’ll never forget it,” said Joan Kunkler.  Kunkler had about $50 in her purse and her brother had $6 in his wallet, she said.   “If they wanted money they picked the wrong couple,” she said. “We’re here on a shoestring.”

The siblings are in Colorado for a friend’s daughter’s graduation and drove down from Boulder to see the soaring sandstone rocks that give the park its name. After the robbers fled, the pair raced back down the trail warning other hikers about the gunman.  Colorado Springs police Lt. Elden Stromer said armed robberies are rare in the park.   “Usually the problems there are vehicles being broken into while people are gone, not while they are on the trail,” he said.



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