Stolen Texas truck appears in Yampa

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— Two South Routt County brothers were arrested on suspicion of vehicular theft and drunken driving after getting a truck stuck in the mud on the side of Colorado Highway 131.

Ronnie Johnson, 22, of Oak Creek and Michael Johnson, 24, of Toponas are accused of stealing the truck from an acquaintance and driving it from Texas to Colorado after the acquaintance gave them the keys at a Texas jail on Aug. 24 and asked them to drive it to her nearby Texas home, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Brett Hilling said.

On Tuesday, Texas resident Stephanie Pautard called the Colorado State Patrol to report that her husband's white 1999 Chevrolet extended-cab pickup had been stolen and she suspected that it might be in Routt County. She said the truck was stolen Aug. 24 in Palestine, Texas.

Pautard told troopers the Johnson brothers were riding with her in the truck when she was pulled over for speeding on Aug. 24. Pautard was taken into custody because she had a warrant out for her arrest for writing bad checks.

The Texas State Patrol drove the vehicle to the jail. Pautard said she then instructed the brothers to drive the vehicle back to her house in Palestine. Instead, the brothers reportedly drove the truck from Texas to Oak Creek, Hilling said.

On Wednesday, the Colorado State Patrol was already looking for the stolen pickup when troopers came across brothers Ronnie and Michael Johnson attempting to pull a truck matchingthe description out of the mud, Hilling said.

The brothers reportedly got the vehicle stuck in mud on the side of the road while attempting to make a U-turn. Both were allegedly intoxicated, and they took turns trying to get the truck out of the mud, Hilling said.

Ronnie Johnson was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, DUI per se, driving with a revoked license and first-degree motor vehicle theft. Michael Johnson was charged with DUI, DUI per se, having no insurance for the vehicle and first-degree motor vehicle theft.

The right side of the vehicle is damaged, Hilling said, and windows are broken.

The brothers appeared in court Thursday and are each being held in Routt County Jail on $20,000 bond. They will appear in court again Tuesday.

Michael Johnson has a $10,000 warrant for his arrested in Cañon City.

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