Police make arrest in Vail high-end bike thefts
60-year-old Denver man faces three felonies
VAIL — A 60-year-old Denver man was arrested Wednesday in connection with two bike thefts in Vail last week, including a smash-and-grab from a Vail Village store.
Robin J. Clifton was arrested in Denver and is facing one count of felony burglary, two counts of felony theft and one count of misdemeanor criminal mischief.
He is being charged in the June 25 smash-and-grab theft of a $5,500 Pinarello Prince road bike from The Base Camp store on Hanson Ranch Road at the top of Bridge Street, said Sgt. Justin Liffick of the Vail Police Department.
Employees came to the store the morning of June 25 to find the display window smashed, with the bike, two helmets and two jerseys gone. Police said the theft occurred at around 3:15 a.m.
Clifton is also being charged in a theft from the same store two days earlier. A Giant Reign SX1 mountain bike valued at $4,000 went missing, but was found soon after in the back of a pickup truck parked on a nearby road. An employee of the store snapped a photo of the pickup’s license plate and sent it to police, said Mike Brumbaugh, owner of Venture Sports, which operates The Base Camp.
“Kudos to the Vail PD for tracking him down,” Brumbaugh said Wednesday.
Police are still working to determine whether Clifton is connected to other recent bike theft cases.
A Yeti Mountain bike, valued at $2,000, was stolen last week from outside City Market in West Vail.
Later in the week, two more high-end mountain bikes — worth $4,200 and $3,500 — were stolen from outside a West Vail residence.
A rash of thefts also occurred late last year.
From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2018, Vail Police said they took reports of 22 bikes stolen — 19 mountain bikes, two road bikes and one e-bike — in 15 separate incidents. About 25% of the bikes were unlocked, police said.
Two of the 22 bikes were later recovered, police said, but no arrests were made.