GLENWOOD SPRINGS - A local man said Thursday that he's been treated as "some kind of a hero" since Monday night, when he allegedly tracked a man suspected of breaking into his car a half-mile through the snow and caught him in West Glenwood.
"I'd had enough of it," said Darin Elwell, who lives in West Glenwood. "I caught a kid doing it last summer. ... There'd been break-ins for a while out there."
The suspect, Carlos Servin, 18, of Carbondale, has been charged with theft, trespassing, tampering with physical evidence and other, lesser crimes and is headed for prosecution in 9th District Court.
Elwell, 44, had been visiting his mother in the Ponderosa Drive neighborhood of West Glenwood when, around midnight, he stepped out of the house.
"I just happened to come out and see that my cab light was on in my car," he said.
He at first thought he'd left a door open on the car.
"I thought about last summer and said, 'Oh, no, not again,' and went over to the car," he recalled.
A young man hopped out of the car and ran off, Elwell said. After calling police to alert them to the situation, Elwell took off after him.
"He was running through, like, 3 inches of new snow," Elwell said. "Probably not a good night to be doing crimes."
Tracking him through the snow, Elwell ended up in Gregory Park, a small park in the west end of the neighborhood.
Elwell was moving toward a portable toilet in one corner of the park when a county deputy called to ask where he was.
As he was reporting his location, Elwell said, he thought he heard a noise from the portable toilet.
After hanging up and walking softly around to the front, he realized the man was inside.
"All of a sudden, it's, 'Oh my God, I caught this guy!' I didn't know what to do," Elwell said. "I mean, this kid could have come charging out of there."
But at that moment, as Elwell was contemplating turning the portable toilet over on its door to trap the man inside, Garfield County sheriff's deputies showed up and took over.
According to police, Servin was carrying several items that belonged to Elwell and was arrested and booked into the Garfield County Jail.