Gypsum man pleads guilty for taking $10K from brewery
EAGLE — A Gypsum man picked up a bank bag full of cash and checks, and was apprehended after he tried to use some of it to file for divorce.
Andres Sandoval pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft after spending about $400 of the $10,000 he found in Bonfire Brewery’s bank bag on Capitol Street in Eagle — $2,000 in cash and the rest in checks. Sandoval was sentenced Monday to a year of probation and 60 hours of community service.
Defense attorney Reed Owens called it a “crime of opportunity,” and that Sandoval did not set out to steal the money.
About 2:20 p.m. on an October Tuesday, a Bonfire Brewery employee left the Bonfire Brewery warehouse on Chambers Ave., in Eagle and headed toward the bank, which works out well because he was hauling a bank bag, the one containing $10,000 – around $2,000 in cash and the rest in checks.
The Bonfire employee left the bank bag on top of his car as he headed up the street. Before long, he realized the bank bag was missing. He received a call from a town of Eagle public works employee, who was working on Eagle’s recently completed roundabouts, who had found a ledger belonging to Bonfire.
The Eagle public works employee saw a white late model Toyota Tundra pull over, and saw the driver step out and pick up the bag. The public works employee figured that either the Bonfire employee or one of the other Bonfire workers had grabbed the bag from the street, and all was well.
Alas, no, all was not.
The white Toyota Tundra belonged to Sandoval, and that was who the Eagle public works worker saw get out of the truck and pick up the bag, then drive west on Chambers Ave., toward the Eagle County Justice Center and jail, which was pretty convenient, as you’ll soon see.
The next day, Wednesday, Eagle police officer Jay Seckman was at the courthouse checking on other matters when he spotted a white late model Toyota Tundra pickup truck in the parking lot.
Seckman wandered inside the Justice Center and asked a court clerk if anyone had seen Sandoval.
“Why yes,” said the clerk pointing to a man on a chair, waiting in the courthouse hallway. “That’s him right there.”
Seckman asked Sandoval for his identification and Sandoval handed over his drivers license. Seckman took a picture of it and emailed it to the public works worker.
“Yup, that’s the guy,” said the public works worker.
Seckman read Sandoval his Miranda rights, and Sandoval gave up his right to remain silent, right then and there.
Seckman asked Sandoval if he’d been at the courthouse the day before.
“Yes. I had to pick up some divorce paperwork,” Sandoval told Seckman.
However, Sandoval said he didn’t know anything about any bank bag. Sandoval’s memory was jogged when Seckman told him a witness had seen him pick it up.
He finally fessed up, saying he was “going through a lot” and “needed the money.”
It was not, however, his money. Prsecutor Joe Kirwan said Sandoval made no attempts to return the money to the Bonfire Brewery, the bank or the police department. When police searched Sandoval and his vehicle, they found a big wad of cash. They found the checks at his house.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.