Charges filed in car theft

Front Range men accused of leading police on chase

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— The District Attorney's Office filed charges Wednesday against two Front Range men accused of stealing a car Saturday and leading police on a chase down Lincoln Avenue.

Joel Lee McCormick, 18, of Northglenn is charged with first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, a Class 3 felony; vehicular eluding, a Class 5 felony; driving under the influence and DUI per se, misdemeanors.

The district attorney chose not to pursue charges of resisting arrest, being a minor in possession of alcohol and violating bail bond conditions.

Stephen Michale Byrne, 22, of Westminster was charged with theft by receiving, a Class 3 felony. Byrne had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, violating bail bond conditions and having a fugitive of justice warrant from Adams County.

If convicted of the Class 3 felonies, the men could be sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison and fined $750,000.

The men were arrested by Steamboat Springs police officers at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday after an officer spotted the men driving on Mount Werner Road in a car that had been reported stolen, police said.

According to police reports, McCormick stole a 2005 Subaru Impreza that had been left running by its owner. McCormick picked up Byrne, a friend of his, after McCormick became lost while driving the stolen car, police said. When officers spotted the vehicle and attempted to pull it over, McCormick led officers on a chase down Lincoln Avenue, according to police reports. During the chase, McCormick drove into oncoming traffic, heading west in the eastbound lanes of Lincoln Avenue, police said. Officers apprehended the men on Third Street after McCormick turned the stolen car into a driveway, police said.

Both men have applied to be represented by a public defender.

McCormick is being held in Routt County Jail on a $20,000 bond. Byrne is being held on a $5,000 bond.

McCormick and Byrne are scheduled to appear in court at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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