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Durango woman sentenced to nine years in prison in connection with crime spree

Janet Lane stole cars, burglarized homes and ran from police

A Durango woman with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison in connection with a string of crimes that included vehicle theft, home burglary and resisting arrest.


Janet Lee Lane, 34, showed no obvious signs of emotion Friday as 6th Judicial District Judge Suzanne Carlson imposed the nine-year prison term.

Lane was facing up to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular eluding and two counts of second-degree burglary in a plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office.

Carlson said she was left with no choice but to impose a prison sentence. Lane was ineligible for probation and was rejected for community corrections, or a halfway house.

Lane said she has made plenty of “stupid” and “careless” mistakes in her life, but they were all somehow related to substance abuse. She said things were going well – she was drug-free and had stable work as a housekeeper – but then she relapsed, and within a couple of months all of that vanished.

Assistant District Attorney Sean Murray compared Lane’s lifestyle to Grand Theft Auto, a video game with violent and illicit themes – but a real-life version of it.

She burglarized homes, including those of her clients; she stole vehicles; she led police on high-speed chases; and even after being caught, she once tried to escape police custody by crawling through a bathroom ceiling, he said.

In addition to vehicles, she stole gold, silver and guns from homes and cars.

Murray said Lane has been “terrorizing” Durango and La Plata County communities, and he asked Judge Carlson to give residents a break.

Carlson seemed to agree. She said Lane has “gone off the rails,” she doesn’t comply with court orders and at some point the community expects cases like hers to receive a significant prison sentence.

“It does sound like Grand Theft Auto, but in real life,” Carlson said. “... We’re lucky no one was hurt.”

Lane’s most recent arrest occurred Nov. 7 when a Durango Police Department officer spotted her speeding through a school zone in the 700 block of East College Drive. The officer gave chase, but he discontinued the pursuit for safety reasons.

Later that morning, a stolen van was spotted in the parking lot at Adobe Inn, 2178 Main Ave., along with a green Kia Sportage that had eluded the officer earlier that morning. Lane’s romantic partner, Cody Joe Lynn, was arrested without incident in connection with the stolen van, but Lane went upstairs and locked herself into the couple’s room. She refused to come out for several hours.

Police eventually obtained a search warrant to enter the hotel room, at which time Lane was arrested without further incident.

Police found several stolen guns inside one of the couple’s vehicles.

Lynn was sentenced to eight years in prison. Carlson said she found Lane’s conduct to be more serious, and gave her nine years.


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