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January 30, 2013
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Eagle cops

Eagle Police were called to a local motel Jan. 20 on a report that a suspicious man had helped himself to breakfast that morning, but that he was not a guest at the facility.

When the officer arrived, the motel manager said he had spoken to the man after a member of motel staff noted that he had been eating breakfast there for the past three weekends. The manager asked the man if he was a motel guest or the guest of someone who was staying at the motel. The manager said the man became nervous and began mumbling something about how he needed to shuttle people to the airport. The man then got up and left in a white cargo van parked at the motel lot.

The manager noted that the van did not appear to be a shuttle because it had no back seats. Additionally, the manager noticed that the front plate on the van began with the number 6, but the rear plate did not match it. He photographed the plate using his smart phone and called police.

The officer traced the plate number to a trailer belonging to a local business. When contacted, the business owner who said the trailer had been rented to a plumber from Edwards who planned to store it near the Eagle County Regional Airport. The trailer owner provided contact information for the man.

The officer then drove to the Airport Drive address and while en route, he spotted a pedestrian who fit the motel manager's description of the suspect. The officer pulled over and asked to speak with him.

During the conversation, the man said he had "lost everything" and had very little money to survive. He had borrowed a van from a friend and placed the trailer license plate on it because he knew the vehicle was not registered. He also admitted to breakfasting at the Eagle motel, although he knew it was against the rules. After the conversation with the manager, the man drove to the airport and parked the van in the 30-day lot, where he removed the trailer license plate and replaced it on the proper vehicle.

The man told the officer he knew it was wrong to put the plates on the unregistered van, but he was forced to do so because of his financial problems. He also was unable to produce a valid driver's license.

The officer informed the man about various community services available to offer assistance and cited him for misuse of registration/plate. The officer also told the man not to return to the motel for breakfast unless he was a guest or a friend of a guest.

On Jan. 20, an Eagle officer was on a routine patrol around town when he spotted a pickup truck stuck in a ditch along Eagle Ranch Road. The front end of the truck was down an embankment and in the snow.

When the officer approached, the driver was attempting to get the truck out of the ditch. He told the officer that he was driving along and planning to turn left, but he was not paying attention and then decided to turn right and drove into the ditch. During the course of the conversation, the man abruptly closed the driver's side door and tried to back out of the ditch.

The officer opened the door and requested the man's driver's license. The man yelled that he did not have a license, and provided his name and a his Colorado identification card.

A second officer arrived to assist and the cops asked the driver to step outside of his vehicle. The first officer also told the driver not to shut the door again. The man said he was just trying to get the truck out of the ditch and he didn't know why he was being stopped by police. He asked if he was going to be arrested, and said that's what happened every time he is caught driving. He also asked if the police were going to take away his marijuana pipe.

The officer told the man that due to a change in Colorado law, he would not confiscate his pipe. But the officer asked the man if he had permission to drive the truck and if he had been drinking. The man said the truck belonged to his boss and that he had permission. He also said he had "a few" drinks but was not intoxicated. He refused to perform roadside tests.

The man eventually completed an eye maneuver and the officer concluded he was not intoxicated based on his performance and the absence of any alcohol odor on his breath. However, an identification check through Vail Dispatch revealed the man's license was under restraint and that he also had 15 pending restraints. Dispatch confirmed the man's status was "habitual traffic offender."

The man was taken into custody for the various offenses and officers moved the truck out of the ditch and parked it at a nearby residence.

• Officers responded to a report of possible gunfire in a residential neighborhood at approximately 10 a.m. on Jan. 22. When they arrived, they contacted a resident who said he was throwing firecrackers to scare off birds that were defecating along his walkway. The man was "strictly advised" that setting off fireworks is illegal within the town limits.

• A local man reported he lost his wedding band in the snow while walking his dogs near the bike path behind the cemetery. He said he lost the gold band when he fell in the snow and that he immediately realized he was no longer wearing it, but was unsuccessful when he attempted to locate it in the snow. He contacted police to file a report so he could claim the ring if someone turns it in.

• On Jan. 24, a wallet was turned in to the Eagle Police by a teacher from Red Canyon High School. The teacher found the wallet at the front of the school building located at Second Street and Broadway. The owner was contacted and claimed her wallet from police.

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The VailDaily Updated Jan 30, 2013 12:21PM Published Jan 30, 2013 12:20PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.