Winter Park man charged with vehicle theft |

Winter Park man charged with vehicle theft

Zachary L. Rider
Courtesy photo |

Residents of Winter Park are getting a reminder this week on the importance of locking their vehicles after Zachary L. Rider, 29, of Winter Park was arrested on multiple charges related to a pair of vehicle thefts last week.

Fraser and Winter Park Police Department said that on Monday, Feb. 6, officers responded to the Subway restaurant in Winter Park on reports an auto theft had just occurred. The victim told authorities he parked his Ford F350 in front of the restaurant and went inside to grab a sandwich, leaving his keys inside the truck. Approximately 10 minutes later the man left the restaurant and discovered his truck was missing.

Officers and deputies from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office conducted an extensive search of the Fraser Valley but did not locate the missing truck. At 9:30 p.m. Monday night a citizen reported the truck had been returned to the same location it had been taken from earlier in the day. The victim informed authorities nothing was missing from the vehicle.

A few days later on Feb. 9, a Porsche Cayenne was reported stolen by someone who had parked the vehicle in front of his business at the Village Center Condos. In a similar circumstance the victim told authorities he had left his vehicle unlocked with the keys inside prior to the theft. A search of the area turned up the stolen vehicle at the Beaver Village Lodge.

Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin conducted a canine track of the immediate area but turned up no suspects. When the owner of the Porsche checked the vehicle’s interior he reported to authorities a handgun and camera equipment were missing.

The next day, on Feb. 10, a police officer received information a man in Winter Park was seen attempting to enter vehicles parked in front of Subway and the man had been overheard talking about stealing a vehicle.

On Monday, Feb. 13, officers responded to a welfare check of that individual, Rider, at a residence in Winter Park. “Officers then spoke to the subject about the thefts, at which time he admitted to stealing both vehicles as well as the camera and the handgun,” a press release from Fraser and Winter Park said.

Rider was taken into custody and charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft and theft (under $2,000). According to the press release, bond for Rider has not been set. Deputies from the Grand County Jail confirmed Rider was still in custody as of Thursday morning Feb. 16.

“These auto thefts bring to light the hazards of leaving vehicles unsecured and with the keys inside, whether they are in the ignition or left somewhere inside the vehicle,” the press release stated. “Additionally, the leaving of any firearm at any location where it is unsecured is potentially dangerous to innocent civilians and law enforcement officers alike.”

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