Two men, arrested over the course of two days, are suspected of stealing the same ATV, which Montrose police were able to recover within 24 hours.
Christopher Randol, 46, and Jason Milton, 43, were both held on suspicion of aggravated motor vehicle theft and other offenses. Formal charges are pending. Both remained in custody Wednesday evening, according to jail records.
On Sept. 9, an ATV with a snowplow attachment was reported stolen from near Domino’s Pizza on East Main Street. At the time of the initial report, police had a good description of the all-terrain vehicle, but no suspects.
That came later in the day, when officers responded to a noise complaint at downtown City Market. While there, officers were told an employee had twice spotted an ATV — with a plow — in the area. Its operator entered the store a few times, so the alert clerk was able to provide a description.
That afternoon, an officer saw a person driving a similar ATV near the Log Cabin Hotel on Main Street; the man on the vehicle matched the description the clerk had provided, Montrose Police Cmdr. Matt Smith said.
The man, alleged to be Randol, attempted to hid behind a tree but was caught and could not provide a good reason as to how he came by the ATV, Smith said.
The vehicle identification number on the ATV, which by then had been divested of its plow attachment, matched the one that had been reported stolen.
Milton, the second suspect, was tied to the alleged theft the next day, through what began as a disturbance call in an RV parked at the lot on South Second Street, just behind City Market.
Milton was at the scene, Smith said — and so was a metal snowplow attachment that matched the one on the ATV. Milton allegedly provided information that pointed to him being complicit in the theft and he was arrested as well.
In addition to motor vehicle theft, Randol is accused of drug possession, violation of bond conditions, criminal mischief, obstruction of a peace officer, driving on a suspended license, failing to update his information for the sex offender registry, and operating an off-highway vehicle where prohibited.
Milton was also accused of obstruction and theft.
Although such crimes fall to detectives for further investigation, the MPD’s division is juggling even more serious felonies, so patrol took care of it, Smith said.
“The officers that responded to it did an amazing job. It was a great investigation from top to bottom,” he said.
“That said, it does absorb a lot of patrol resources during times of day that we are traditionally very busy. I really just want to commend these guys for prioritizing their tasks for this investigation and getting this resolution.”