A hankering for fast food played a role in the arrest of two men who allegedly stole a car from Basalt.
A silver Buick Enclave was reported stolen from the Hearthstone Drive area of Elk Run subdivision in Basalt on Aug. 23. The vehicle was unlocked and had the keys in it, according to the police report.
The police officer who took the report that Saturday was off duty in West Glenwood Springs two days later when he spotted the vehicle at Burger King and called Glenwood Springs Police Department.
Officers arrived at about 8:45 p.m., collected the information from the off-duty Basalt officer and put the Enclave under surveillance, according to Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson. They eventually saw a young man exit the restaurant and allegedly grab a backpack from the driver’s side of the vehicle before he started walking toward a nearby 7-Eleven.
“When (the officers) tried to contact him, he decided to go for a run,” Wilson said. The suspect was joined by another man who also initially bolted, the police report said.
The men “thought better of it” after a short time and aborted their attempt to flee, Wilson said. They were detained and the backpack possessed by one of the men was searched. Officers allegedly found a magazine for a .40-caliber handgun. They later found a .40-caliber handgun under the driver’s seat, Wilson said. The gun was discovered to be stolen from Arvada, according to the report.
The two men were arrested on identical charges. Wilson identified them as Jonathan Ruiz, 20, of Glenwood Springs, and Johnny Rios-Bravos, 18, of Glenwood Springs.
They were arrested for aggravated motor vehicle theft — possession of a stolen vehicle; theft under $750, for the handgun; resisting arrest; possession of marijuana; and possession of drug paraphernalia. The marijuana and paraphernalia charges were made because the suspects were under age 21, Wilson said.
Ruiz remains in jail on $1,000 bond. Rios-Bravos bonded out on Wednesday.
Basalt Police Chief Greg Knott said Basalt police checked on an abandoned vehicle in the Elk Run neighborhood on Tuesday and found that it was reported stolen earlier in the month in Glenwood Springs. Nothing has linked Ruiz or Rios-Bravos to the other stolen car, but Knott said he doesn’t think it is a coincidence that a stolen car from Glenwood Springs was abandoned in Basalt and a car stolen from Basalt ended up in Glenwood Springs.
“I think we caught the ones that are doing it,” Knott said.
Knott said a different vehicle stolen from the Elk Run area earlier in August hasn’t been located. A black VW Passat was stolen the weekend of Aug. 2-3. That vehicle was also left unlocked with the keys in it.