Alleged Vail bike thief is convicted arsonist on parole
Robin Clifton, 60, will face additional charges for two more bike thefts, police said
VAIL — A Denver man will face additional charges for two more bike thefts that occurred in Vail last month, police said.
A Yeti mountain bike reported stolen June 25 from City Market in Vail was recovered in Idaho Springs on Wednesday. It was valued at $2,000.
A GT 4 Series road bike reported stolen June 25 from Vail Das Schone was recovered in Denver on Wednesday. It was valued at $500.
Robin Jay Clifton, 60, will face additional charges in the two thefts, said Sgt. Justin Liffick of the Vail Police Department.
Clifton already faces charges of second-degree burglary, two counts of felony theft and misdemeanor criminal mischief in connection with two high-end bikes stolen from the Base Camp shop in Vail Village on June 23 and 25. The June 25 theft included breaking a window on the shop’s storefront.
He was arrested July 3 in Denver. He is now in the Eagle County Detention Facility.
A total of seven bikes were reported stolen in Vail between June 23 and June 27.
Additional stolen property has been recovered in Westminster, Liffick said. He said he could not comment further on the Westminster property due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
Long criminal history
In 2007, Clifton pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree arson in connection with four buildings that were set on fire in Rifle on Sept. 5, 2005. The blazes caused more than $1.5 million in damages.
He also pleaded guilty in 2007 to one count each of aggravated motor vehicle theft and indecent exposure.
He was sentenced in 24 years in prison.
The buildings that were burned in Rifle were the Fireside Lanes bowling alley, townhomes, the Mi Hacienda Nightclub, and an Amoco service station.
Before the fires, Clifton was arrested for indecently exposing himself at the Rifle Wal-Mart parking lot, according to a report in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. He was in a truck that had a stolen trailer with a motorcycle on it, the report said.
Prosecutors said that Clifton later set the blazes in order to try to destroy evidence, as well as distract authorities, the paper reported.
Clifton’s criminal history dates back to 1978 and includes convictions ranging from robbery to drugs to prison escape, the report said.
Clifton was released on parole in 2015, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections.
The July 3 arrest was made with the assistance of Clifton’s parole officer.
One vehicle came to rest in the eastbound lanes of I-70 and the second vehicle came to rest on North Frontage Road. One occupant of each vehicle was ejected during the crash.