Colorado Springs theft victim tracks down stolen items; suspect nearly killed in rollover crash

Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 1:43 PM MDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2021 at 5:27 AM MDT
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The Woodland Park Police Department says an accused thief is in critical condition after a police chase that ended in a rollover crash.

The victim says he did his own detective work and tracked down his stolen equipment at a local pawn shop.

The victim, Carl, says $7,000 worth of paragliding equipment was stolen from his truck Friday afternoon in Monument. Saturday afternoon, Carl and his wife began making calls to local pawn shops. The first call was to Woodland Park Pawn and Loan, where the owner told him the suspected thief was standing in his store.

The owner of the pawn shop says he was about to make a deal when the store got a call.

“I was helping him [the suspect] determine a price, that we could offer to buy it for, when my son received a phone call and he handed me the phone and interrupted me,” said Ted Thrutchley, the owner of Woodland Park Pawn & Loan. “I took it and the people had said, ‘That’s my stuff. The guy is trying to sell the gear he stole from me.’”

Thruthchley told Carl to call police while the suspect was still in his store.

“He stalled them, and I called the police,” Carl said. “They showed up. And then things are interesting after that.”

Woodland Park Police said when their officer arrived on scene, the suspect ran out of the store and jumped into a running Jeep.

“I got to the corner of our building, and his vehicle was parked down there, and he took off he went up the highway into oncoming traffic,” said Thruthcley, recalling the incident. “He went up the eastbound road and then he tried cutting over, and we watched him hit a lady in her SUV and then rolled his car several times.”

Police say the suspect drove the wrong way on Highway 24 and hit the front bumper of another car. The suspect was then thrown from the vehicle as it rolled.

Police say the suspect is in critical condition.

“It was really lucky the people called find their stuff, it’s just too bad it ended the way it did,” said Thrutchley.

Woodland Park Police added the occupants of the other vehicle were not injured.

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