Thousands of dollars stolen at Run Rabbit Run race in Steamboat | AspenTimes.com

Thousands of dollars stolen at Run Rabbit Run race in Steamboat

Money was intended for nonprofits

Eleanor C. Hasenbeck
Steamboat Pilot and Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Run Rabbit Run racers were not the only ones to pull a fast one Saturday.

Thousands of dollars in cash were stolen from the race’s merchandise tent, money that race organizers had planned to give to nonprofits.

As Race Director Paul Sachs was announcing the awards ceremony at Steamboat Resort, volunteers realized the cash bag had gone missing from the tent where organizers were selling race merchandise. Sachs said the volunteer working the merchandise tent looked one way, turned back around and found the bag was gone.

Sachs said there is no way to know for sure how much cash was taken, but he estimated it was somewhere between $4,000 and $5,000.

That money was intended for numerous nonprofit organizations that helped put on the race. Volunteers from a number of organizations volunteer at aid stations and serve in other roles during the race. In return, race organizers donate profits from registration fees and merchandise sales to the nonprofits. These organizations include youth sports organizations, early childhood learning centers and scout troops.

“We put this on for the runners, and we give everything else to charity,” Sachs said. “It’s money that’s not going to be available for the charities that we donate to.”

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Sachs interrupted the awards presentation with an announcement asking the crowd for tips, but nobody had seen what happened. After the audience heard about the theft, several people wrote checks to the organizations Run Rabbit Run planned to support.

"It was very disheartening,” Sachs said. “We hope somebody might do the right thing and let us know if they know what happened."

Between donations and the money generated by registration fees, Sachs said the race will still be able to give about $35,000 to $40,000 to nonprofits as well as donations of food to youth organizations and clothing to LiftUp of Routt County.

Revenue from registration fees also allowed the race to pay out about $62,000 in prizes to runners.

Without any suspects, Steamboat Springs Police Department Sgt. Rich Brown said the police are investigating a crime with no leads. The amount of cash stolen would carry felony level charges if prosecuted.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact the Steamboat Police Department at 970-879-4344 or Routt County Communications at 970-879-1144.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.