Police seeking previous occupants of stolen Jetta

The Colorado State Patrol is looking for the previous occupants of a 1996 Volkswagen Jetta, who allegedly stole the vehicle, drove it into the side of an embankment and then abandoned the car three blocks away.

About 10:45 p.m. Thursday, a caller reported an accident had occurred near the intersection of Park Avenue and Routt County Road 36, said Colorado State Patrol Trooper Brett Hilling.

The driver was making a right-hand turn from Park Avenue onto C.R. 36, skidded through the intersection and hit the embankment on the other side of the road.

Witnesses saw people get out of the Jetta and push it out of the ditch. The driver then drove it three blocks with a flat tire and abandoned it, Hilling said.

The Steamboat Springs Police Department originally responded to the incident but did not find a vehicle at the accident's location.

A vehicle matching the caller's description was found on side of Grand Avenue. No one was in the vehicle, which was severely damaged and had a deployed airbag, Hilling said.

The state patrol, which was called to the scene because the incident occurred outside the city limits, contacted the car's owner. The owner, a Steamboat Springs resident, was unaware the car was missing, Hilling said.

After work Thursday, the man had parked the car outside his apartment in the 700 block of Oak Street. When the state patrol called him, he went outside and saw that the car was gone.

The state patrol said it has witnesses who can identify the driver. Troopers also found fingerprints on the vehicle, which are being processed, Hilling said. More than one person was in the vehicle and the driver is likely to have injuries to his forehead, Hilling said.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Colorado State Patrol at 824-6501.

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