Car theft yields 2 arrests

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A 35-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man who have served jail time for motor vehicle theft were found in a stolen car Wednesday night.

The Steamboat Springs Police Department found Melissa Ann Mora and Terance Lee Brown in a black and blue Ford Bronco that was reported stolen in Las Vegas, Capt. Joel Rae said. The two were arrested on suspicion of aggravated motor vehicle theft.

Mora and Brown said they stopped for the night in Steamboat on a trip from Las Vegas to Denver. Mora said she was a transient, and Brown is from Denver.

Just before midnight Wednesday, police officers came across the Bronco parked in the parking lot at 11th Street and Yampa Avenue. Mora and Brown were found sleeping in the vehicle with its engine running.

The officers made contact with Mora, who did not have vehicle registration or any proof of insurance for the car. She said the car belonged to a friend she had just met.

When police ran the license plate numbers for the vehicle, they learned the car had been reported stolen. Record checks also showed that there was a warrant out for the arrest of Mora for motor vehicle theft, and that Mora and Brown had served time in prison for motor vehicle theft.

Mora then told police that she had "bought" the car from a friend in Las Vegas for an undetermined amount of methamphetamine and two eight balls of crack cocaine. Mora also admitted that the vehicle probably was stolen because she had to pay for it with only drugs, Rae said.

When police searched the vehicle, they found a straw with a white substance that field-tested positive for methampetamine. Inside of a flashlight, officers found a syringe with a clear liquid inside that also tested positive for meth.

Along with the vehicle-theft charge, Mora was arrested on suspicion of possession of a Schedule II substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and being a fugitive of justice.

The two were taken to the Routt County Jail, where they remain. Mora's bound was set at $15,000 and Brown's bound was set at $5,000.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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