Private eye arrested after Vail bomb scare |

Private eye arrested after Vail bomb scare

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colo. ” A private investigator was arrested Thursday after a tracking device that police say he put on a parked car provoked a bomb scare in Vail.

Silt resident Dave Alan Stark, 52, owner of Aspen Country Process Services in Glenwood Springs, was charged with criminal tampering after the bomb scare caused police to evacuate an elementary school and a children’s gymnastics center, close a road and reroute buses.

Police say Stark put the device on the car as part of a divorce case.

At about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, a witness reported seeing a man climb underneath a parked SUV in front the Vail Gymnastics Center, then drive away, said Comander Susan Douglas of the Vail Police Department. Authorities later found a black box attached to the bottom of the SUV, Douglas said.

Police treated the box as a bomb after they discovered it, and the Jefferson County Bomb Squad was summoned to Vail.

Dozens of children were evacuated from a dance recital at the gymnastics center and a sleepover at the elementary school. Some were taken by bus to the Vail Town Hall, where they waited for parents. A section of the North Frontage Road was closed during the scare.

As police waited for the bomb squad to arrive, they traced the license plate of the vehicle that the suspicious man had driven away to Stark, who then admitted to placing the device on the car, police said.

The bomb squad was called off before it got Vail, and the road reopened shortly after 8 p.m.

At the request of the Vail police, Stark drove back to Vail to remove the tracking device. They arrested him at about 10 p.m., shortly after he arrived.