Steamboat Springs A Denver man is in custody after stealing a vehicle and leading police on a short-lived chase downtown early Friday morning.
James Arellano, 33, took off with Nancy Terry's light blue Ford Explorer at about 2 a.m. Friday.
Terry spotted Arellano pulling away from her house and called the police.
Two officers from the Steamboat Springs Police Department eventually apprehended Arellano on the second-floor walkway of the Rabbit Ears Motel on Lincoln Avenue.
Shortly after responding to the call, Officer Damian Baynes saw Arellano stopped in the parking lot of Re/Max Steamboat on Third Street.
A second officer on duty, Nick Bosick, had just informed Baynes he saw a vehicle driving along Fifth Street that matched the description of Terry's vehicle.
Arellano pulled onto Lincoln Avenue from the parking lot and began to accelerate. As he approached the turnoff for Old Fish Creek Falls Road, he signaled left but abruptly turned right into the parking lot of the Rabbit Ears Motel.
Baynes followed the suspect into the parking lot.
Arellano fled the stolen vehicle in a hurry.
He jumped from the car while it was still running and headed for the hotel stairs.
Bosick arrived on the scene and followed Baynes up the stairs to the second floor, where Arellano was attempting to get into a hotel room.
Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing said it was not known if Arellano was staying in the room.
The two officers detained the man after a brief struggle.
According to police reports, Arellano smelled of alcohol but refused to take a breathalyzer test.
The stolen car, which Arellano failed to park, rolled into a Dumpster and sustained some damage to the left front side.
Arellano denied driving the vehicle, according to police reports, and claimed he was unknowingly standing at his door when police tackled him.
Arellano, who is being held on a $20,000 bond, is charged with aggravated motor vehicle theft, eluding an officer, driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a revoked license.
Police reports indicate Arellano has a history of traffic violations, Fiebing said.
Fiebing applauded the officers who responded to the call.
"It was definitely a good, solid arrest," he said. "The guys did a great job."
The sport utility vehicle, which is still considered a crime scene, will not be returned to the owner until police complete their investigation.