Man arrested on suspicion of stealing more than $1,000 in construction equipment from Old Town Hot Springs
STEAMBOAT PILOT — A Steamboat Springs man was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of stealing more than $1,000 in construction equipment from the Old Town Hot Springs, where crews have been working on a renovation and expansion of the business.
Jeovanny Meji-Mercado, 41, faces a Class 3 felony charge of first-degree burglary and misdemeanor theft, according to an arrest affidavit obtained from the Routt County Justice Center.
Steamboat Springs Police Department officers believe the incident occurred late Saturday night after the hot springs had closed to the public. They received a report of the theft Monday after construction workers noticed several tools and copper pipe were missing.
Officers reviewed surveillance footage from the hot springs. They observed a man with long, black hair and a goatee in a blue “Cookie Monster” hat steal various items in the building, including a power drill, nail gun and a compressor. The tools belong to a local construction company working on the renovation, according to the affidavit.
So far, police estimate the man stole $1,383 worth of items in a single night.
A woman was also in the video, whom the owner of a local cleaning service identified as one of his employees at the time. She had permission to be on the property, according to the affidavit, but Meji-Mercado did not.
The owner of the cleaning service gave officers the female employee’s home address. Police visited her residence on Tuesday and observed a man in the backyard wearing a “Cookie Monster” hat, like the one in the video, with hair matching the above description.
Officers used the man’s passport to identify him as Meji-Mercado. When shown a photograph from the surveillance footage, he claimed he was at the hot springs to help the woman with her cleaning. She claimed the same thing.
The two said they were married, but officers have not yet verified their relationship. Records from the Police Department show they live together.
Police have not yet filed charges against the woman, but an investigation of any possible involvement she had in the theft is ongoing.
A manager with the cleaning service said she is no longer affiliated with the company.
Meji-Mercado’s bond has been set at $1,000. As of Thursday afternoon, he was still an inmate at the Routt County Jail. He has an arraignment scheduled for June 5.
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