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 firstname.lastname@example.org.