Teenage car thief moved to Grand Mesa Detention Facility
September 29, 2008
A local teenager is in a lot of trouble after he stole a car and rolled it on Berthoud Pass while attempting to flee pursuing police officers last week.
The suspect is a 15-year-old boy from Fraser.
According to the Fraser-Winter Park Police Chief Glen Trainor, the same teenager was arrested in August after another auto theft and burglary investigation.
An ambulance and paramedics from Grand County EMS quickly arrived at the accident scene to provide medical treatment. The 15-year-old was secured to a backboard and transported to the Granby Medical Center where he was treated for the minor injuries he received in the rollover.
Due to the severity of charges against him, the teenager was then transported to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in Hot Sulphur Springs where he was placed in a juvenile holding area of the county jail.
He has since been transferred to the Grand Mesa Detention Facility in Grand Junction.
The theft occurred just after midnight on Sept. 22 from the Safeway parking lot in Fraser.
Fraser-Winter Park Police Officer Sean Curran responded to the scene.
Arriving at the Safeway store, Officer Curran met the car’s owner who said his 2003 Mercury Sable had been stolen sometime between 9 p.m. and midnight.
While Curran was taking down the stolen vehicle’s information and attempting to activate its Lo-Jack System through dispatch, the car’s owner pointed across the parking lot to U.S. Highway 40. He was pointing at his Mercury Sable, which was pulling out of the parking lot across the highway.
Jumping into his patrol car, Officer Curran took out after the stolen car, which was headed toward Winter Park. Just before reaching the Winter Park town limits, he activated his patrol car’s overhead emergency lights in an attempt to pull over the vehicle.
Instead of complying, the driver of the stolen Mercury Sable accelerated. The chase continued down Winter Park’s main street as Curran radioed that he was in a high-speed pursuit of the stolen vehicle.
The pursuit continued south toward Berthoud Pass. Curran reported the fleeing vehicle narrowly missed colliding with other vehicles on the roadway during the chase.
Accelerating up the pass, the suspect negotiated the first and second switchbacks, but lost control near Second Creek. The car rolled twice before coming to rest on its wheels.
The suspect attempted to flee on foot, but was quickly collared by Curran.
Officer Roy Ybarra of the Fraser-Winter Park Police and Deputy Paul Finley of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office had joined the pursuit and arrived on the scene soon after. Also arriving to assist was Fraser-Winter Park Police Commander Brett Schroetlin.
The stolen vehicle suffered extreme damage in the crash and is believed to be “totaled.” Officers from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado State Patrol responded and assisted with the investigation of the accident.
Hunting season has begun and that means the reports of lost, overdue or injured hunters are on the rise in Grand County.
One of the first reports for this hunting season occurred last Tuesday, Sept. 23.
Fortunately, this one had a happy ending.
About 11:45 p.m., Deputy Shawn Murphy was asked to contact a member of a hunting party, reporting a missing person.
Deputy Murphy phoned the caller who explained the missing man had been dropped off earlier that day in the area of Forest Service Road 123, between the Idleglen parking area and another Forest Service road. He failed to show up at the appointed time and place of meeting.
With this information, Deputy Murphy contacted Greg Foley, Grand County Search and Rescue Leader. Because weather conditions were relatively mild that night, it was decided to wait until the next morning before sending in a search team.
The decision to wait proved to be the correct one because the missing hunter eventually found his way out to the roadway around daylight that morning.