Cops: Stolen credit card used |

Cops: Stolen credit card used

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail police have arrested a man who they say attempted to use a stolen credit card to pay for his night’s stay at the Vail Mountain Lodge.

A lodge employee called police at about 3 p.m. Monday after the man left the lodge on a bicycle, according to the town of Vail. Minutes later, an officer observed and detained a person matching the suspect’s description, 21-year-old James Pontarelli, police said.

Pontarelli admitted to staying at the Vail Mountain Lodge and gave the credit card he used to the officer, which had been reported stolen the day prior by a Vail woman, according to authorities.

In addition to the card, Pontarelli was found to have the victim’s purse and wallet in his backpack, police said. A subsequent search of his hotel room uncovered additional items reported stolen by the victim, including her driver’s license and a camera, police said.

The bicycle Pontarelli was riding had a sticker from a Steamboat Springs business, and when contacted, an employee of the business indicated the bike had been stolen, according to Vail police.

Further investigation revealed Pontarelli had been released from the Routt County Jail last week, Vail police said. He has been charged with theft, criminal possession of a financial transaction device, unauthorized use of a financial transaction device and theft by receiving, police said.

Vail police say they continue to investigate other possible crimes committed by Pontarelli. For more information, call Vail Detective Sgt. Craig Bettis at 479-2346.

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