Man faces vehicle theft charge after DUI arrest |

Man faces vehicle theft charge after DUI arrest

— A Steamboat Springs man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of aggravated motor vehicle theft after a woman came home from a trip and told authorities the man had stolen her SUV while she was gone and caused it to be towed away after a recent DUI arrest.

Derek James Stephenson, 32, was first arrested Wednesday on suspicion of driving the SUV under the influence of alcohol in west Steamboat.

The 2003 Toyota 4Runner he was driving was towed away, and it wasn’t until the vehicle’s owner returned home Thursday and found her vehicle missing from the garage that the vehicle was reported stolen and Stephenson was arrested on suspicion of second-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, a felony.

The woman told police she was allowing Stephenson to stay at her place while she was gone, but he did not have permission to drive her 4Runner.

She told police she wanted Stephenson charged for “stealing my car.”

According to an arrest affidavit filed in Routt County Court, Stephenson admitted to taking the vehicle without the owner knowing.

The arrest affidavit does not describe how Stephenson knew the owner and why he was allowed to stay at her home.

Stephenson made his first court appearance Monday, and his bond was set at $10,000.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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