Judge sentences Ark. man to prison for theft

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— A 22-year-old Arkansas man was sentenced to prison Monday for using stolen checks and a stolen credit card to go on a two-day shopping spree in Steamboat Springs.

Fourteenth Judicial District Chief Judge Richard P. Doucette sentenced Jeremy Tucker to three years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Tucker and Shawn Webb, 23, of Dallas, spent $1,800 Sept. 5 and 6 using checks stolen from an Oklahoma couple. Tucker and Webb were vacationing here at the time of the purchases.

For the incident, Tucker pleaded guilty to theft, a class four felony. Webb also pleaded guilty to the felony theft charge.

Fourteenth Judicial District Judge Joel S. Thompson placed Webb on four years of supervised probation Dec. 21. Prior to her sentence, Webb spent 68 days in the Routt County Jail.

Tucker and his court-appointed attorney, Kenneth Miller, pleaded with Doucette for probation.

"I know I messed up, and I have a criminal record," Tucker said. "I will pay for everything I did. I am sorry."

The veteran judge declined to give Tucker probation because the father of three has a significant criminal history, Doucette said.

However, Doucette said Tucker could pursue a four-month boot camp program offered by the Department of Corrections.

If Tucker can get into the program and successfully complete it, Doucette said he would reconsider the prison sentence after 120 days.

Doucette also ordered that Tucker pay restitution. Prosecutors and lawyers representing Tucker and Webb are working together to determine a dollar amount.

Miller said the restitution is expected to be relatively low because a majority of the merchandise has been returned to the businesses.

Tucker and Webb were arrested after a local business called police because the couple could not provide identification for a check that was written for a $436.12 purchase at Bushwackers, 810 Lincoln Ave.

When confronted, the couple left the scene in a vehicle, but Tucker's 1993 Pontiac Bonneville was spotted traveling east on U.S. 40 and was stopped at Anglers Drive.

According to court records, police seized four boxes of stolen checks and a checkbook from the car.

By using the checkbook's carbon copies, police determined the couple made 10 local purchases totaling $1,800.

Along with the purchases at Bushwackers, the couple wrote checks to Steamboat Shirt Co., $114.61; Steamboat Yacht Club, $114.53; Indian Art Gallery, $86.72; Wal-Mart, $80.55; and Cherenity Tibet, $57.40.

The couple also allegedly wrote two checks to Boardriders, which total $335.51.

Tucker is also accused of using a stolen Sears credit card to purchase a $450 camcorder, court records show.

Tucker was hoping he would get probation so he could return to Arkansas, where he also faces legal problems. Tucker is wanted in Arkansas for check forgery. Doucette gave Tucker credit for the time he has served in the Routt County Jail, which is 123 days.

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