Man flees police

Suspect arrested in connection with car thefts


A Steamboat Springs man was arrested early Wednesday morning on suspicion of stealing three cars, breaking into a home and leading police officers on a brief chase.

Phillip Carrol Robinson, 23, was booked into Routt County Jail on charges of aggravated motor vehicle theft and theft by receiving, both felonies; driving under the influence of alcohol; driving under restraint; and resisting arrest. He is being held on $20,000 bond.

At about 12:20 a.m. Wednesday, the Routt County Sheriff's Office was notified that a burglar alarm was sounding in the 32000 block of Routt County Road 38. Deputies Dean Cork and Kevin Carson responded to the scene and noticed Robinson standing on a second-floor balcony, Routt County Sheriff's Office Lt. Richard Wood said.

Unable to get Robinson to turn himself in, the deputies entered the large home, Wood said. The deputies then called for backup after realizing the home was too large to be searched and secured by two people.

Steamboat Springs police officers arrived at the home shortly, and a search began, Wood said. The officers couldn't find Robinson during the search and determined that he had escaped.

A short time later, a vehicle was reported stolen from a house down the street. Hoping to catch Robinson before he could get back to town, the two officers patrolled the area near Strawberry Park Elementary School, where the suspect would have to pass on his way back into the city, Steamboat Springs police Capt. Joel Rae said.

The officers spotted the blue Ford Expedition driving south on Routt County Road 36 with the headlights turned off. Officers suspect that Robinson noticed he had been spotted when he tried to turn the vehicle around in a driveway off North Park Road, Rae said. He backed the sport utility vehicle into a tree, and officers were able to corner the stolen vehicle with their patrol cars.

Robinson exited the vehicle with his hands raised over his head before fleeing on foot, Rae said. Officer Nate Morton and Sgt. Nick Bosick chased the suspect for about 100 yards, repeatedly warning him that they would use their Taser stun guns if he didn't surrender. The officers eventually used the Tasers to apprehend Robinson, Rae said.

"He basically cooperated after that," Rae said.

Robinson was transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center for evaluation, as is standard procedure for people who are subjected to the Taser's 50,000-volt shock, which causes muscles to contract and disables the victim.

The ensuing investigation has led officers to suspect that Robinson stole three vehicles during the course of the evening. The first, an older model Suzuki Sidekick, reportedly was used by Robinson to drive to the home in the 32000 block of Routt County Road 38. When at the home, police suspect he attempted to steal a Chevrolet Suburban, which became stuck in the driveway, Wood said. The third vehicle was the Ford Expedition, stolen from another home in the 32000 block of Routt County Road 38.

The investigation is ongoing, and police have not identified any motives, Wood said. It's unknown what, if anything, was taken from the home. Police said Robinson was intoxicated at the time of his arrest.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

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