Judge orders restitution in Eagle County theft case | VailDaily.com

Judge orders restitution in Eagle County theft case

EAGLE — Ronald Klocko stole dirt bikes, trailers, jewelry and several women's hearts, and then jumped bail and fled to Florida. Local prosecutors said if he were smart he'd have stayed there. He didn't. He was arrested in Florida and brought back to Eagle County, where he pleaded guilty to felony theft. In his letter to the court before he was sentenced Monday, he said, in essence, that he loved the Eagle County woman from whom he stole most of the items, that he still does and that he's sorry he did this to her. That may be, ruled District Court Judge Russell Granger, but Klocko will have to pay the woman $58,500 to cover the cost of what he stole and spend four years on probation. He pleaded guilty to attempted theft, a Class 4 felony. The maximum sentence was up to $500,000 and five years in jail. 'A FLIM FLAM ARTIST' "Personally I think Mr. Klocko is bit of a flim flam artist," said Joe Kirwan, the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case. "When you look at his criminal history, there's a similarity to charges in this case. I know from probation's calculations, he has at least four probation violations." During their criminal investigation, prosecutors found that Klocko stole other items from the Eagle County woman and pawned them down on the Front Range, Kirwan said. A year before, when she was on vacation and still in a relationship with him, the woman discovered some of her jewelry was missing. A porcelain antique set was stolen and pawned in Douglas County. SIMILAR CHARGES IN BOULDER COUNTY Klocko faces similar charges in other parts of Colorado, particularly Boulder County. Klocko's charges stem from actions that date as far back as February of 2012. Klocko was scheduled to plead guilty to theft charges from his Eagle County girlfriend, and restitution could have reached $90,000. His ex-girlfriend travels often for her job and he stole dirt bikes and trailers while she was gone and pawned them in Silt. They were recovered. One of the dirt bikes was in his name. Last year, he is suspected of stealing her jewelry — three pieces worth at least $58,000 minimum. None of the jewelry was ever recovered. "Part of Klocko's probation will mean checking his tax returns and paychecks to make sure money is being made and money is being paid," said Reed Owens, Klocko's public defender. He has been in jail for almost six months. Klocko was taking money from one area and moving it to another to help himself, Owen said. "It was one bad decision after another, always trying to cover the one previous," Owen said. Klocko will head back to Florida where Granger said he has support from his family. "If I put Mr. Klocko in the Department of Corrections or community corrections, it's going to be very difficult to get that restitution paid," Granger said. Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

How Eagle ‘stole’ the county seat

EAGLE COUNTY – There was never a drop of blood shed in the battle for the Eagle County seat.But gallons of ink were spilled, and the tug-of-war between the mining town of Red Cliff and the ranching community of Eagle was fierce. The fight for county dominance was a bitter battle that stretched over more than two decades, involved four spirited elections and some expensive legal wrangling. The related political attacks at times made today’s campaign mud-slinging look like a society ladies’ tea party.Red Cliff, a raucous mining town up high on Battle Mountain was the original county seat, simply because it was the first organized town. Gold miners were drawn to the area by the discovery of a valuable vein on Battle Mountain in 1879. At the time, the land that is now Eagle County was actually part of Summit County. Residents of the Eagle Valley found that communications with the county seat in Breckenridge were difficult, due to the need to cross a mountain range to get there.Typical of mining camps, by February, 1880, Red Cliff had grown to a population of about 250 and the town boasted about 90 dwellings, including some houses, log cabins, and tents. It was definitely the biggest community in the valley in 1883 when the state legislature, in a special session on Feb. 11, created Eagle County. The new county stretched from the top of what is now called Vail Pass all the way west to the mouth of Glenwood Canyon and included a healthy little section of the Roaring Fork Valley, near Aspen. Red Cliff was declared the county seat.Four years later, the community that was to become Red Cliff’s foremost rival in the county seat battle, began to take shape about 25 miles down river. Located along the river bottom, Eagle was initially established as a sort of base community where miners could rest and re-supply on their way to the many gold-camps. Eagle’s elevation, a couple-thousand feet lower than Red Cliff, and broad valleys proved ideal for raising hay, grains and cattle. Many men who came to the area to find gold eventually realized that ranching offered more stability than the mining communities, which were dependent on the whims of the ore veins and the precious metals market.Before long, downvalley residents began lobbying for a change in the location of the county seat. The argument made then was for the next 26 years: Red Cliff was not centrally located in the county and getting there was a hard traveling and a financial burden for the citizens who had to conduct business there.The first vote …That first election, in 1895, asked the voters if and to where the county seat should be moved. Each community appears to have voted for itself. Red Cliff’s Eagle County Blade newspaper duly reported the results:Eagle…………………………………………303 votesRed Cliff……………………………………197 votesMinturn……………………………………103 votesWolcott……………………………………..12 votes Eagle declared itself the winner and Red Cliff immediately filed a lawsuit. Red Cliff questioned the validity because only resident taxpayers were allowed to vote. Red Cliff argued all qualified voters should have been permitted to cast ballots.That court challenge took several years to process. In June, 1899 the Colorado Supreme Court ruled the vote unconstitutional and all qualified electors had a right to vote on the county seat question. Further, the court ruled a successful vote to remove the county seat would require a two-thirds majority.At this stage of the battle, things were relatively dignified, judging from reports printed in the Blade, predicting the issue had been settled.The Blade, perhaps unwittingly, pointed out that strategically, a county seat move was unlikely if several communities were contenders for the honor. However, loyal to its own community, the newspaper also predicted Red Cliff would emerge the winner in a straight-out contest with Eagle.At this point, the Red Cliff community could afford to be magnanimous.”The people of Eagle who have counted so largely on a victory are no doubt much disappointed. Red Cliff respects their disappointment and has refrained from any demonstration on account of its victory.”- Eagle County Blade, June 22, 1899The newspaper further called for an end to the “enmities and jealousies” that characterized the contest. But the Blade’s prediction that the issue had been settled for years to come was wrong. By the spring of 1901, the move-the-county-seat effort had heated up again. John D. Nims, editor of the Blade, was outraged. By this time, a general decline in mining, along with the rise of two mining camps adjacent to Red Cliff – Gilman and Belden – began to pull population away from the county seat.The second vote…By 1904, the county was once again headed to an election aimed at moving the county seat downvalley.Responding to an editorial in a Basalt-based paper endorsing a move, the Blade was defensive of its home community, citing statistics indicating a rebound in the mining industry.”Those people who are under the impression that since 1895 Red Cliff has died are deceiving themselves.” – Eagle County Blade, Aug. 18, 1904And the Blade offered a new argument: If the reason for moving the county seat was travel time, would it not make more sense for the more centrally located community of Wolcott, which was a ranching community and railroad shipping yard, to be named the county seat? A sentence or two later, the Blade accurately predicts that both Red Cliff and Eagle would fight that option.A week later, the argument grew even more heated, after two Eagle-based newspapers, The Eagle Valley Enterprise and the Eagle County Examiner endorsed a move of the county seat. The Blade fiercely disputed the arguments offered by its competitors.In particular, the Blade objected to arguments suggesting downvalley farmers were paying the bulk of county taxes. Comparing the assessed valuations of the respective school districts, the Blade concluded Red Cliff was the biggest taxpayer in the county.”Where do the taxes come from, the farmers or the miners?” queried the Blade. Further, the newspaper pointed out, Eagle was not yet incorporated as a town (that happened in 1905); and it had a “vile” domestic water supply. Red Cliff residents, in return, boasted that they had “an excellent system of water works supplied with pure mountain water,” and “splendid fire-fighting apparatus.”The Blade further bolstered its arguments with some convoluted figures detailing how the upper end of the valley had more voters than the lower end, and by arguing the lower valley, when tallied up, was more sparsely populated.Undaunted, the Enterprise pointed out how a prisoner escaped from the county jail in Red Cliff. The Eagle River Shaft, another Red Cliff paper, conceded that point, but said prisoners had also escaped from the Garfield and Lake County jails, as well as the state penitentiary.”Such bosh as this upon which it is claimed a county seat should be moved!” protested the Blade on Aug. 25, 1904.Again, the issue went to the polls. Again, Eagle failed to get enough votes to move the county seat.Try, try again…Still, the effort didn’t die. In 1912, a new law declared a county seat could be removed by simple majority vote if the county’s capital assets did not exceed $1,500. Five hundred of the county’s 800 taxpayers signed a petition to that effect, and the battle was on again.The Eagle Valley Enterprise made no bones about its intent to push for a change in county seat. While asserting its “highest regard” for “honest political opponents,” the Enterprise promised an honest fight:”We will not build up Eagle at the expense of Red Cliff or Gypsum or Minturn or Basalt or any other town in the county … there is no place for selfishness in the great work of developing and building up Eagle County…”- Eagle Valley Enterprise, Oct. 11, 1912.By the next week, that conciliatory tone had changed. “Voters throwing their money away. Costing them more to keep the county seat where it is than to move it to Eagle,” declared the Enterprise headlines.The newspaper even went musical in its fight:Vote for Eagle(Tune: Marching through Georgia) Eagle wants the county vote,Now everyone take note;She is in the centerof the county’s boundary lineAnd would save the people’s patience,also cash and time,If the seat were at Eagle.CHORUS:Hurrah! Hurrah! We want the county seat,Hurrah! Hurrah! We will never be beat;So we want the voters of the county all to keepTalking and voting for Eagle.Eagle Valley EnterpriseOct. 18, 1912And the fight was on again. The arguments grew preposterous. O.W. Daggett, then crusading editor of the Red Cliff-based Holy Cross Trail drew up some complicated figures, comparing the number of miles that would be traveled if all registered voters went to the county seat in either Red Cliff or Eagle. Red Cliff had the favorable figures in his calculations. The Enterprise , based in Eagle, was outraged by this line of reasoning.”Daggett Springs Some Fiction” raged the headlines. The Enterprise suggested Daggett return to public school to learn arithmetic, and to Sunday school to learn to tell the truth. The newspaper concluded its tirade with a barb at Red Cliff:”…let the people of Red Cliff be the veriest angels of charity with every other virtue and willing to give to others everything they possess, except, of course, the county seat…”- Eagle Valley Enterprise, Oct. 25, 1912Eagle won that county seat election by a majority vote. On Nov. 10, the county commissioners ordered the county seat e moved to Eagle. Again, Red Cliff challenged the election results with a lawsuit. On Jan. 3, 1913, District Court annulled the election, saying that a two-thirds majority vote was needed.Fourth time a charm…By 1920, the county seat issue was facing voters again. Enterprise editor Adrian Reynolds again argued Eagle was more central, which would save taxpayers money. Further, he said, a new courthouse could be constructed at the same cost that would be involved in improving the “courthouse shacks” in Red Cliff. To make his point Reynolds offered the anecdote of an imaginary “Reudi boy” (Basalt area resident) who might want to go the county seat to get a marriage license. The groom-to-be would have to use a wagon or auto to get to Basalt, then would have to pay $7.78 for a round trip train ticket to Red Cliff, Reynolds wrote.”If he takes the girl along it’s a pretty expensive wedding trip – and who wants to take a wedding tour to Red Cliff?” Reynolds asked in the Oct. 29, 1920 Enterprise.Longtime residents who to this day remember that election of 1920, maintain there was a conspiracy between Eagle and Gypsum. Gypsum allegedly pledged its support of Eagle as the county seat. In turn, Eagle reported pledged support of a high school in Gypsum. The vote tally bears out that theory:The VoteFor Eagle………………………….1,097For Red Cliff………………………425For Minturn………………………..104For Gypsum………………………. 3The move of the county seat was set for Dec. 15, 1920. On that same day, Red Cliff again filed a lawsuit, alleging that 100 citizens in eight precincts had voted fraudulently.The county commissioners filed a counter-claim. The local district court judge declined to hear the case, and asked for another judge to be assigned. Judge Cooper of Canyon City drew that task. On Feb. 4, 1921, he found in favor of the town of Eagle.Red Cliff appealed, and the case went to the Colorado Supreme Court. The legal wrangling continued. On Oct. 2, 1921, the Supreme Court ruled in Eagle’s favor. Shortly thereafter, the county commissioners ordered the removal of the county seat to Eagle.According to local lore, feelings continued to run so high that the move was made in the dark of night on Nov. 11, 1921. Newspaper reports indicate there was less subterfuge than that. Two railroad freight cars were put on a siding in Red Cliff, while the sheriff and three deputies moved the records. Six hours later, the records had been hauled to Eagle, and placed in a newly built vault in the “Woodman Hall” on Eagle’s main street (now the Brush Creek Saloon), the temporary county courthouse location.On Nov. 18, the town deeded over to the county a prime block of land, upon which the county administration building is located today.”Isn’t it a grand and glorious feeling, living in the county seat? We’ll say that it is,” the Eagle Valley Enterprise wrote on Nov. 11, 1921EpilogueThe county seat battle did not end in 1921. In the late 1970s, a Vail businessman caused a stir when he suggested the county seat be moved to Vail, then the fastest-growing town in the valley.That culminated with a tumultuous public hearing at the county building in Eagle, in which the meeting room was packed with angry Eagle residents defending their right to the county seat. Noting that Eagle was a more central location, and that the cost of land in resort-town Vail was high, the commissioners agreed that the seat belonged in Eagle. The arguments had a very familiar ring.No doubt a few Red Cliff residents got a chuckle out of that little drama.Sources for this story included the Eagle County Historical Society Archives and the Eagle Valley Public Library.Vail, Colorado

Deal revises deed restrictions for Gypsum project

EAGLE, Colorado – Eagle County may not end up with the deed restrictions it paid for under a new Stratton Flats deal. A Denver company has a contract to buy the struggling project, and that could change the way the county’s deed restrictions work. The county commissioners sank $4.5 million into the floundering project in January 2008. The tax money is supposed to buy deed restrictions on 113 of Stratton Flats’ 339 units, say the county commissioners who spent the money. That means taxpayers paid more than $40,000 for each of the county’s Stratton Flats deed restrictions. But the nature of those deed restrictions will change under a deal with a new developer and price caps will be removed, say partners in the Stratton Flats deal. Also up in the air is whether the county’s taxpayers will be paid the 6 percent interest on their money they were promised as part of the original deal. County Attorney Bryan Treu says the deal is negotiated, and they’re waiting for banking regulators to approve it. “There will be a presentation in a couple weeks, and we’ll answer questions at that time,” Treu said. The county has been trying to restructure the deal for more than a year. Banking regulators are in the mix because Colorado Business Bank, CoBiz, sank more than three times the money into Stratton Flats that Eagle County did, a bank spokesman said Tuesday. The bank has between $12 million and $18 million in Stratton Flats. “You could say $12 million is in the neighborhood,” said Sue Hermann, spokesperson for Colorado Business Bank. The bank will stay with Stratton Flats, Hermann said. “We are integrally involved and intend to remain so until it comes to a successful completion,” Hermann said. Critics say county taxpayers’ $4.5 million was squandered on Stratton Flats and is lost. But county officials say it’s no more lost than it ever was. For the county to recover any of its $4.5 million, Stratton Flats units have to sell, said Alex Potente, Eagle County’s housing director. But Gypsum is the county’s slowest real estate market, and Stratton Flats is located near the end of the Eagle County airport’s runway. Of the 338 home foreclosures this year in Eagle County, 93 are in Gypsum. One Stratton Flats house has sold in the last year, a $379,494 government-to-government deal. The Eagle River Water and Sanitation District negotiated a deed restricted purchase for one of its staff members. That deal closed Sept. 21, 2009. On the Stratton Flats website Tuesday, three bedroom homes were listed for $325,000 on the open market. “The money is gone, but the affordable housing remains part of our community,” said County Commissioner Sara Fisher. Fisher, along with Peter Runyon and former county commissioner Arn Menconi, voted unanimously to get Eagle County involved in Stratton Flats. “We’re fortunate that we were able to forge a partnership with the owners and the bank to keep it as an affordable housing project,” Fisher said. Fisher said when she was running four years ago, affordable housing was the highest priority. “All the Vail projects had been approved and were getting under way,” Fisher said. “It was full speed ahead. Some thought we’d never stop growing. They banked on it.” Not all deed restrictions are created equal. Stratton Flats is a three-way deal between the town of Gypsum, Eagle County and the developer. Gypsum waived its tap fees, real estate transfer taxes and other up-front costs, in exchange for deed restrictions on 113 units. Gypsum has no money tied up in Stratton Flats. Eagle County’s deed restrictions limit a home’s value to increases of not more than 3 percent per year. Gypsum requires that the homes be sold to locals, and have no price caps. Under the new deal, the county’s price caps will be removed, say Gypsum officials. “Their deed restrictions will change under the new deal,” said Lana Gallegos with the town of Gypsum. The other 113 Stratton Flats units are being sold on the open market. Stratton Flats has always struggled. The project was submitted to Gypsum at the same time as the Tower Center, a proposed shopping center in Gypsum that has never gotten off the ground. Stratton Flats was floundering when the county commissioners poured in $4.5 million to keep it afloat. In January 2008 the commissioners at the time – Menconi, Runyon and Fisher – spent the $4.5 million from a facilities fund. The three did not officially appropriate the money until February 2008. The three commissioners did not form the county’s housing authority until March 2008, two months after the money was spent.

Police end search for chase suspect

EAGLE COUNTY – Police haven’t found a man involved in a car chase that ended in Dotsero Thursday.Dozens of police and sheriff’s deputies from Eagle and Garfield counties searched for a man who allegedly stole a car in Arizona and fled from police in Glenwood Springs after not paying for gas there. He eventually ditched the car on the Colorado River Road north of Dotsero and vanished into the hills.”I imagine he got back to the interstate and hitchhiked,” said Glenwood Police Lt. Bill Kimminau. “I haven’t heard of anything strange going on in that area this weekend.”If found, the man could face the following charges in Colorado: Eluding police, reckless driving, theft of gas in Glenwood Springs. In Arizona, he could be charged with vehicular theft, Kimminau said.Police in Tempe, Ariz., have issued an arrest warrant for the man.”They figured out who stole the car,” Kimminau said. “We need to determine if he was the same guy who was in the car when the pursuit started.” Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or vwhitney@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado

Vail Daily letter: Hard lesson

My 7-year-old granddaughter was in Wal-Mart with her mother a few days ago. She had her little girls purse with her. Somewhere, she put her purse down and then forgot about it. After she and her mother got home, she complained to her mother that she couldn’t find her purse. They looked in the car and elsewhere, but couldn’t find it. So, her mother went back to WalMart and checked in at the customer service desk to see if the purse had been turned in. Yep, it was there, but some low-down scumbag had gone through the purse and just plain stole the $20 that was in the purse! My granddaughter had, for several months, saved her nickles and dimes to get that $20. The scumbag that stole her money didn’t have the common horse sense to know that the purse was a little girls purse! A hard lesson for any little girl. We have no way of knowing who turned in the purse – probably not the scumbag. I hope that this article will warn other little girls to guard their purses, and know that there are thieves, even in Wal-Mart. I hope that the one that stole this money will be eaten alive with the bad karma he or she created! Disgusted in Eagle County!

Timber Ridge Village lease approved by Town Council

VAIL — The eastern half of Timber Ridge is now Lion's Ridge, and 113 new apartments will be built there. The Vail Town Council on Tuesday approved the details of a ground lease with the project developers, Gary Gorman and longtime Vail resident Jen Wright. The project will build 113 new apartments on roughly 5 acres of the Timber Ridge property, which has been owned by the town for about a decade. The town is putting about $1.3 million into renovating the apartments on the western half of the property, and those will be open to renters this year. Town officials and developers first agreed to a deal in November of 2013, but Gorman and Wright earlier this year asked to modify the terms of the original deal. In a July interview, Wright said he and Gorman had hit hurdles in getting the project financed due to the original 35-year lease on the property and asked instead for a 50-year lease. Lenders all asked for a longer lease term, Wright said. Must Be Employee Housing Deal modifications also included the option for the developers to buy the property for $5 million, about half the price the town paid a decade ago. That purchase option must be exercised within the first 10 years of the deal. If the developers don't buy the land, then they'll make lease payments to the town. Whatever option the developers choose, the land is contractually bound for employee housing. At least 70 percent of all units must be occupied by people working at least 30 hours per week in Eagle County. Opponents of the deal said the town was giving up too much with the sale option. Supporters said governments routinely provide low-cost, or no-cost, land to developers for housing and other projects. Eagle County is providing the land to developers of a senior housing center in Eagle. Council members Margaret Rogers and Dale Bugby voted against the deal at an Aug. 19 meeting. Both continued their opposition Tuesday. Bugby said Tuesday that the deal has "gone backwards" for the town in the months since it was first approved last year. Rogers said the rest of the council might be suffering "Timber Ridge fatigue" in accepting the deal before them. As Good As It Gets But council member Greg Moffet, who was on the council when the town purchased the apartments, said that council never intended for the town to keep the Timber Ridge property. He called the deal with the developers "as good as we're going to get." Mayor Pro Tem Ludwig Kurz, running the meeting in Mayor Andy Daly's absence, agreed with Moffet. So did council members Dave Chapin and Jenn Bruno, approving the deal by a 4-2 vote. Work on the new apartments will start this fall. The first tenants are expected to move in by the end of 2015. Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, smiller@vaildaily.com and @scottnmiller.

Credit card, cash taken from Eagle County car

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado “-Police on Monday responded to a car break-in report at the woman’s Eagle County, Colorado home, an Eagle County Sheriff’s Office report said. The woman said someone entered her unlocked car and stole $70 and a Mastercard, the report states. The theft happened sometime Saturday night or Sunday.

UPDATE: Devils advance two to state wrestling semis

DENVER — Eagle Valley has two wrestlers in the state semifinals going into Friday night's action at the 3A state tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Luke Morrissey is in the Final Four at 106 pounds after dispatching Carlos Hutchings, of Salida, 10-3. And, as expected, Noah Hermosillo is in the 138 semis after pinning Berthoud's Matt Bailey. Local wrestlers also recorded their first state-tournament wins after falling in the first round on Thursday. Eagle Valley's Lucas Comroe (113) and Battle Mountain's Mario DeLara (132) got wins on the consolation side of the bracket and are still in the hunt for medals. Eagle Valley's Raul Lopez, a state placer last season, fell in quarterfinals, but wil also try to wrestle back to the podium later this evening. The Devils' Caleb Laisure (145), Davis Ward (152) and Justin Morrison (160) all saw their tournaments end with their second loss. This story will be updated after Friday night's action. Class 3A 106 — Luke Morrissey, Eagle Valley dec. Carlos Hutchings, Salida, 10-3, in quarterfinals; Morrissey faces Jacob Duran, Fort Lupton, in semifinals. 113 — Lucas Comroe, Eagle Valley, tech. fall L.T. Torres, Berthoud, 20-2; Comroe continues consolation bracket with Noah Damien, Valley. 132 — Anthony Quintana, Buena Vista dec. Raul Lopez, Eagle Valley, 5-4, in quarterfinals; Lopez wrestles Colt Rohrig, Rifle, in consolation bracket. 138 — Noah Hermosillo, Eagle Valley, fall Matt Bailey, Berthoud, in quarterfinals; Hermosillo faces Nick Gallegos, Jefferson, in semifinals. 145 — Ty Addington, Florence dec. Caleb Laisure, Eagle Valley, 6-0; Laisure eliminated. 152 — Drake Zimmerman, Moffat County, dec. Davis Ward, Eagle Valley, 7-4; Ward eliminated. 160 — Jeron Petterson, Brush, dec. Justin Morrison, Eagle Valley, 6-2; Morrison eliminated. Class 4A 132 — Mario DeLara, Battle Mountain, fall Adrian Rincon, Erie, 4:48; DeLara continues consolation bracket with Jeremy Ashton, Mead.

Vail Daily letter: Where were deputies?

In our “Happy Valley,” it is easy to feel as though crime isn’t an issue, but crime happens here, and how it is dealt with is a bit eye-opening. A couple of weekends ago, there was a comedian performing at The Back Bowl in Eagle. While she was performing, three men were playing pool in the room behind the stage, hidden from view by a curtain. They are seen on the surveillance camera finding her bag below the stage, taking her car keys out and high-fiving each other. They stole her car. The next day, the car was found, not because the sheriff and his deputies were out looking for it but because the comedian’s mother and sister were. The woman whose car was stolen had been told by a third party that the Sheriff’s Office would not be looking for her car. When discussing this with longtime residents of Eagle County, the response is the same: No one is surprised. Our community has grown immensely in the 18 years that I have lived here. With the increased population has come more crime. We need to send a message that crime is not tolerated here and continue to keep our valley a safe place to live. A woman who lives in Denver came here to work, got her car stolen, found it herself, is stuck with a damaged vehicle that she has to pay to repair, and the three men who stole it, who are identifiable, are getting away with auto theft. Do you think she will tell all of her friends in Denver and around the country what a great place our “Happy Valley” is? The Sheriff’s Office is not dealing with this auto theft incident because it is a headache that they don’t want to deal with. After all, there is no economic incentive for them, is there? By hurting our valley’s reputation they could, in the long run, affect the economy for many of us. They have access to a tape of the three men who stole the car and should be pursuing them. They have hard evidence but refuse to move forward. This is unacceptable. What message is being sent by the Sheriff’s Office? I think that whoever wants to be elected Eagle County sheriff needs to give that question some serious thought and give an answer to the people who live here. Jennie Fancher Avon

Wallet taken from Gypsum store employee

GYPSUM -The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office is looking for two people investigators say stole a wallet from an employee’s purse at the Hi-Way 6 store on Monday around 11:30 a.m. The suspects were captured on surveillance video, however the theft was not discovered and reported until several hours had already passed, the Sheriff’s Office says. While “suspect 1” distracted the employee at the register “suspect 2” walked in the rear employee’s office and stole a wallet containing miscellaneous items, the Sheriff’s Office says. Suspect 1 is described as a Hispanic male, in his mid 40s, approximately 5-foot-4, approximately 160 pounds. At the time of the theft suspect 1 was wearing a blue long sleeve T-shirt and blue jeans, the Sheriff’s Office says. Suspect 2 is described as a Hispanic male, in his mid 20s, approximately 5-foot-10, heavy-set, clean shaven, with short black hair. At the time of the theft suspect 2 was wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and a black banded wrist watch with a round face on his left wrist, the Sheriff’s Office says. The suspects’ vehicle is described as being a 1990s-style white box-cargo truck with a 15-foot enclosed box. If you think you may have any information about the suspects or this crime, please call the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 328-8500 or Eagle County Crime Stoppers at 970-328-7007, 1-800-972-TIPS, submit your tip online at http://www.tipsubmit.com, or text a tip from your cell phone by texting STOPCRIME plus your message to CRIMES (274637). If your tip leads to the arrest and indictment of any suspect involved, you could earn up to a $1,000 reward from the Crime Stoppers.