Glenwood police arrest teen after Beetle chase |

Glenwood police arrest teen after Beetle chase

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox/Post Independent Dave Stanley is happy to have his 1974 Volkswagen Bug back in his possession after it was stolen on Thursday.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Glenwood Springs Police arrested a 17-year-old male after he led authorities on a high speed pursuit in a stolen vehicle Thursday.

The stolen car belonged to David Stanley, 62, a manager at the Glenwood Springs Shell Station on the southeast corner of the intersection at West Sixth and Laurel streets.

When he arrived at work in his 1974 Volkswagen Beetle, he shut off the engine but left the keys in the ignition.

Stanley said he entered the station and went into the back room. A few minutes later he returned and the Beetle was gone.

“One of my co-workers said that he thought I had already left,” Stanley said. “He said, ‘Well, your car just drove off the lot.'” That’s when Stanley and a co-worker began pursuit of the burgundy Beetle. As they drove south on Grand Avenue, just past 20th Street, Stanley saw his car driving toward him.

“We turned around and got right on his bumper,” Stanley said.

He called the police and brought them up to speed on the situation, which frustrated Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson.

“We’ve been telling folks to take their keys out of their vehicle and it still happens,” Wilson said. “This whole incident could have been avoided if he’d not left the keys in the vehicle and walked away.”

After eluding police through parts of Glenwood, the driver took the Beetle onto westbound Interstate 70 and headed toward New Castle. In pursuit were Glenwood police, Garfield County sheriff’s deputies and the Colorado State Patrol; New Castle police were waiting for the vehicle at the New Castle exit.

But Stanley knew there wasn’t much of a chance the culprit would get away.

“I knew he was going to run out of gas,” Stanley said. “I knew I only had about enough gas to get to the shop that morning.”

Just before the New Castle exit, the car started slowing down, and Stanley thought it was over.

“I said, ‘Well, he’s got to give up now,'” he said.

But he spoke too soon. The door flew open and the suspect bolted from the burgundy Beetle, ran across both sets of the lanes of I-70, jumped the guard rail and headed down toward the Colorado River with officers following on foot. The chase ended when the suspect was Tased by a sheriff’s deputy, according to Wilson. The suspect was taken into custody and transported to the Grand Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility in Grand Junction.

Since he’s a juvenile, his name will not be released. A sheriff’s deputy suffered a separated shoulder after falling down the riverbank while in pursuit, according to Wilson. The deputy was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood.

Wilson once again urged people to not leave keys in an unattended vehicle.

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