Briefs for June 8

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Ski area bike trails closed for 24 Hours of Steamboat

All mountain bike trails at the Steamboat Ski Area will be closed all day Saturday and until approximately 1 p.m. Sunday because of the fourth annual Rio 24 Hours of Steamboat bike race.

The ski area opens for the summer from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today with gondola rides and free activities at the Gondola Square Adventure Zone. Hiking, gondola rides and Adventure Zone activities will be unaffected as a result of the Rio 24 Hours of Steamboat race.

Because of ongoing construction at One Steamboat Place, the gondola parking lot will remain closed to all traffic. Passenger drop-off and free bus service remains available at the Gondola Transit Center, and there is free event parking in the Knoll parking lot.

Call 879-0480 or visit www.24hoursofsteamboat.com for more information on the bike race, or call 879-7300 for the latest updates on biking and trail conditions at the ski area.

Copper thefts increase

A series of copper thefts in Routt County has left law enforcement officers with one piece of advice for residents: Lock it up.

"The simplest thing is to not leave metals out where someone can drive by with a truck and take it," said Ken Klinger, an investigator with the Routt County Sheriff's Office. "That's all you can do."

The Sheriff's Office is investigating a Tuesday theft in which about $10,000 worth of copper tubing and fittings were stolen from the construction site of the new Routt County Justice Center west of Steamboat Springs.

Klinger said metal thefts have increased in recent years because the price of metals has gone up, affecting the cost of residential and commercial construction.

"These types of thefts have been going on forever, but we're definitely seeing more now," he said.

The majority of stolen metal is turned around and sold to scrap metal businesses that "don't ask questions," Klinger said. "It's a black market business."

Anyone with information regarding Tuesday's theft is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 870-5503.

Boys confess to Soda Creek vandalism

Two young brothers from Crested Butte have admitted to scratching at least six cars at Soda Creek Elementary School, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage, police said Thursday.

Police Capt. Joel Rae said the 7-year-old and 9-year-old boys told their grandmother, who lives in Steamboat Springs and is taking care of the boys, that they had been riding their bike through the school's parking lot "scratching the cars with the bikes' handlebars."

"We can't charge them with a crime because they're under 10," he said.

The vandalism was reported during the past few days, Rae said.

"They told their grandma, she called us, that was that," he said.

Victims of the vandalism can pursue civil charges, he said.

The boys "caused a lot of damage if you think about what it costs to get your car repaired these days," he said.

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