Burglary suspect's bond set at $30K

Police seek to recover stolen goods

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— A Routt County judge on Tuesday set bond at $30,000 for a 20-year-old man accused of burglarizing several Steamboat Springs' businesses last week.

Chris Alan Ecker was arrested Monday on suspicion of seven felonies including second-degree burglary, third-degree burglary, two counts of felony theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, unlawful use of a credit card and criminal possession of a credit card.

Ecker appeared in Routt County Court for his arraignment Tuesday during which Deputy District Attorney Tammy Jenson asked County Judge Jim Garrecht to set Ecker's bond at $50,000. Jenson told Garrecht that Ecker has a lengthy criminal history that includes several theft and burglary charges in California dating back to 2000, and that he has no permanent address in Routt County, making him a flight risk.

"This defendant is facing seven felonies where there are four different victims that were burglarized," she said. "There is an ongoing police investigation that may result in additional charges being filed."

Jenson also said records indicate Ecker tried to get to Denver International Airport twice Monday, "after he knew police were looking for him."

Ecker told Garrecht he was trying to leave Steamboat Springs to get to San Francisco, where his pregnant girlfriend is living, and that he is not a flight risk.

"I'd like you to know I am trying to get this resolved the best way I know how," he said.

Ecker is scheduled to appear in Routt County Court at 1 p.m. today to hear the formal charges that the DA's Office is expected to file against him.

Police arrested Ecker after they received a tip from a man that Ecker was trying to sell "a bunch of stuff" cheaply. Police initially contacted Ecker Sunday night at a campsite he set up behind the Hampton Inn. Ecker ran from police Sunday night. But police returned to the area Monday and arrested him without incident.

Ecker is suspected of stealing a credit card from the Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Center and using the credit card to purchase equipment at Straightline Outdoor Sports. Ecker allegedly took the equipment he purchased at Straightline to Steamboat Fly Fishing, where he left the store before paying for service to a fishing pole. Ecker reportedly tried to pawn some of the equipment at Mister Money on Monday, but gave the pawnbroker a false address, which is a felony.

Police are investigating Ecker's connection to a string of burglaries that occurred Aug. 19 and 20 in which Ecker may have stolen hundreds of dollars worth of camping gear and cash from five different Steamboat businesses.

Police are now asking anyone who may have purchased items from Ecker to call the police department. Det. Jerry Stabile, who is investigating the case, can be reached at 879-4345.

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

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