Hot springs employee robbed at gunpoint

Sheriff’s Office still investigating Saturday night incident

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— Strawberry Park Hot Springs owner Don Johnson said an employee robbed of between $700 and $800 at gunpoint and pepper sprayed Saturday night is doing fine.

“He’s a little shaken up,” Johnson said Sunday.

Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said a man entered the ticket area just before 11 p.m. with a gun and asked for cash at the hot springs off Routt County Road 36. After getting the cash the man told the hot springs employee to get on the floor, Birch said. Birch said the man then pepper sprayed the employee and ripped a phone out of the wall before fleeing.

A shuttle driver found the employee. Because the driver didn’t have cell phone service at the hot springs, he drove to where he could call 911. Birch said 20 to 40 minutes had elapsed by the time the authorities were reached. The employee was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center, treated and released.

Two employees were working at the hot springs Saturday night, Johnson said. He said one left at about 10:15 p.m., 15 minutes before the hot springs closed, leaving one employee in the ticket area. He said a night watchman was supposed to come on duty at 11 p.m., but failed to show up.

Johnson said he is working on adding security cameras at the hot springs as an additional security measure. He said the fact that one of his employees was threatened with a gun is “really scary,” not just for him, but for all local businesses.

“It’s a sad day when we have to see that kind of stuff in Steam­boat,” Johnson said.

Birch wouldn’t provide specifics including the type of gun used or a physical description of the suspect or his vehicle. But he did say that the Sheriff’s Office thinks only one person was involved in the robbery.

The investigation is ongoing, Birch said. He said the Sheriff’s Office would conduct additional interviews Sunday and more information would be available in a couple of days.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

sportzmama 3 years, 2 months ago

Unbelievable!! I hope the employee is alright. This kind of crime continues to rise, so obviously people are still feeling pretty strapped.

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seeuski 3 years, 2 months ago

Sooo, according to Tom Ross new gun laws would do the trick maybe.NOT! Law breakers don't give a damn about the laws that the law abiding people live by. How many shots would a clip have needed to hold to rob this unarmed Hot Springs employee? ONE (1) UNO...............

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callguinness 3 years, 2 months ago

By my count the gun didn't need to have any bullets at all to complete this hold up. Maybe we should out law pepper spray thats what was used in this crime.

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sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

Come on Ross, wheres the call for smaller cans of pepper spray?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, I understand that the employee had a glock with 10 rounds, but doubted that was enough to take on the robber and so surrendered and allowed himself to be pepper sprayed. If only he had a 30 round magazine so then he could have stopped this robbery.

In other words, it is obvious that modest limitations on guns would have had no impact on this incident. Things like limiting magazine capacity only matters once in a while when some lunatic intends to create maximum carnage. Those few moments that it takes to reload is often when the gunman have been stopped.

And no sort of regulations could have affected this crime because any sort of weapon, even a kitchen knife would have sufficed for the criminal.

Would have to suspect knowledge of the hot springs. Not only the lack of cell phone service, but also that there was not another phone anywhere else nearby. A place like that could have an exterior phone for guest use and if a call could have been made quickly then police would have easily been able to arrest him

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JLM 3 years, 2 months ago

Pepper spray, which is not constitutionally protected, should be requlated, if not outlawed entirely.

In any event, the size of pepper spray cans shuold be reduced to personal use size and folks shoud only be allowed to carry pepper spray subject to a concealed pepper spray permit.

Pepper spray only belongs in fine gourmet restaurants where it is used for flavoring and nothing else.

Regulate pepper spray before it is too late.

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John St Pierre 3 years, 2 months ago

Are you all nuts???
A local individual trying to make an honest living... is messed over by some degenerate piece of elk dung...... not to mention the brass set on the person who did this... at a business w/ only one way out...

Your only concern is your juvenile BS ... not the fact the success of this crime may embolden him to try it again... and maybe someone get really get hurt......

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

"under the new administration at RCSO that this will be taken very seriously"

So what robberies with weapons and injuries were not taken seriously by the previous administration? So many comments about law enforcement being so bad under Gary Wall, but how about describing any specific cases that should have been handled differently? And it what about all of the people you said were inept and needed to be replaced? If Wiggins keeps them then won't that make him as inept a manger as Wall?

Anyone thinking they could repeat this crime is likely to be wrong. The key premise that communications could be easily cut is easy enough to fix. Putting another phone on the line for emergency use, an emergency radio and a surveillance system would all make this a one time crime.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 2 months ago

Bummer. I'm thankful no one was hurt.

I agree this crime could have been done with a knife, a hammer, etc.

But pointing to a crime perpetrated with a gun as a reason people should not be concerned about guns... ??

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1999 3 years, 2 months ago

screamer...I've lived here about 30 years and trust me.....the guns. drugs. and violence was as bad or worse in the past.

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ftpheide 3 years, 2 months ago

"W", There isn't any reason to continue debating. The election is over. Your canidate lost.

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bandmama 3 years, 2 months ago

Anybody else think it is a little odd that the creep knew when there wouldn't be anyone around, and ripped the ONLY phone out of the wall? Of course not knowing any real details besides these, who is to say. But sounds like someone with knowledge of how and when a chance would be good to go for it......went for it. Oh yeah, guns dont kill people, dipsticks do.

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ftpheide 3 years, 2 months ago

mama, It's been established he is a turd not a creep. I think it's strange the night watchman failed to show up!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

Well, I guess those that thought Gary Wall was doing a good job managing personnel can be comforted by the apparent lack of changes.

I guess those that though Wiggins was going to come in and clear house by getting rid of particular personnel are disappointed.

Bandmama, I suspect the investigators do not consider it "odd", but consider that as suggesting the criminal had previously scouted the situation and maybe had insider knowledge that there wasn't a second phone or any other backup method of communications.

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bandmama 3 years, 2 months ago

ftp, please explain the difference between a turd and a creep. LOL! And, before jumping to things, we would need to know if it was out of habit the night watchman failed to show, this is Steamboat, may not be all that out of the ordinary. (note that no information is given as to his/her whereabouts on the evening in question..ahhhh, the plot thickens...) Scott, please note that the last sentence of this article stated that, "more information would be avalible in a couple of days". As opposed to the the token. "No further info is availible at this time". At least we got a bit of a promise that the public would be kept informed. More than we had before. And with this sort of nasty thing, the unspoken "promise" of information is welcome. Instead of the ponderings of uninformed locals. (me included at this point.). All in all I am very glad to know that the poor employee suffered nothing worse, while not so nice..., than some pepper spray. It could have been much worse. maybe another night watchman should be assigned? JLM....ahhhh when was the last time you ate at a fine establishment that flavored food with this stuff? May I suggest that you not eat there again and ask for some nice FRESH GROUND peppercorns instead.... next time you go out. Really dude, it may taste better.

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ftpheide 3 years, 2 months ago

Mama, The difference is quite noticeable. Turds don't talk.

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bandmama 3 years, 2 months ago

ftp... very good point, had not thought of that. LOL! Seriously though, this is a nasty thing to hit during the towns "busy" season. i am anxious to see how the new folks handle this. And how the public is kept notified of developments. If done by a local jackA$$, it was done by a local jack, if not done by someone local, then we have evey right to be kept informed of anything that may make a difference to ours, and the tourists safety. A local jack is easier to stop than some jerk travleing and looking for a quick few bucks.

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sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

Did the guy rip the phone, spray himself and call the cops after he hid the cash?

Probably not but...

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1999 3 years, 2 months ago

oh good god screamer........give it a rest.

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