Man allegedly steals wallet from church


— A 29-year-old Denver man came to a local church in February seeking help, but he ended up allegedly stealing a wallet that has caused a local man misery.
Brian Sutherland Self was arrested Monday on three counts of theft after he allegedly stole cash and credit cards from two jackets that were in a closet at St. Paul Episcopal Church, 846 Oak St., the evening of Feb. 3.
Self appeared in Routt County Judge James Garrecht's courtroom Tuesday afternoon and was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.
Self has been charged with two class-four felonies of theft.
According to a court file, Self allegedly stole Winston Rice's wallet and charged close to $2,000 on Rice's two credit cards in a six-day span in February.
Self also allegedly stole $50 from a second jacket in the church's closet. He has been charged with a misdemeanor charge of theft for that crime.
"I was shocked my wallet was stolen by a person who the church helped," Rice said. "I am worn out because of this. I just want to get it behind me."
Self came to the church Feb. 3 looking for assistance. He told the church's pastor, Dave Henderson, that he needed money for a bus ticket to Salt Lake City, Utah, the document shows.
Henderson referred Self to the Routt County Lift-Up Program and allowed Self to shower at the church, the file shows.
Winston went to the church that evening for a workshop and left his wallet in his jacket he had hung up in a closet.
Upon retrieving his jacket, he noticed his wallet was missing.
The next day, Feb. 4, Rice found out that close to $1,950 had been charged to his two stolen credit cards.
Self, who was seen going through jackets in the closet, allegedly used the stolen credit cards to purchase two snowboards, collectively worth $1,200, from two local stores Feb. 3.
Self also allegedly spent $375 to Alpine Taxi for a ride to Denver later in the evening, the document shows.
The rest of the money was charged at a Denver department store and gas stations in Silverthorne and Denver, the file shows.
"This has impacted me a great deal," Rice said.
Since the theft, Rice has been able to clear up the charges with his credit card companies.
"I was able to get back all of the money that was charged," he said.
Police were able to track down Self through an application he filled out for the Lift-Up Program, the file states.
During an Oct. 4 telephone call with authorities, Self admitted to committing the theft of the wallet and using the credit cards, the file shows.
Self was released on the bond because he is receiving treatment for substance abuse at the Stout Street Foundation in Denver, Deputy District Attorney Charles Feldmann said.
Self was convicted of a drug charge and must undergo counseling as part of the sentence, he said.
Self's next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m.

To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail


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