Police arrest man who bragged about criminal activity during Summit County Uber ride | SummitDaily.com

Police arrest man who bragged about criminal activity during Summit County Uber ride

A single frame from Michael McManus' dashcam footage shows him driving a guest rider named "Jon," who admitted to robbing several banks in Colorado.
Michael McManus/Courtesy photo

Michael McManus has seen a lot in his 6.5 years driving for Uber in Summit County.

Daily drives to Denver and more than 15,000 trips have given him many stories, but a trip to the Denver area on July 5 proved to be his most memorable yet. It was on that drive when a passenger told McManus he stole money from multiple banks, according to video footage captured by McManus that day.

Michael McManus has driven for Uber for six and a half years, and a trip to Denver in July became one of the most memorable when passenger admitted to robbing several banks.
Luke Vidic/Summit Daily News

Earlier this year, on June 30, a bank teller at Alpine Bank in Dillon called 911 to report suspicious behavior, an affidavit filed July 1 states. Dispatchers said the teller reported a man — later identified as Jonathan Dugan, 37 — was at the bank attempting to cash a fraudulent check, as Dugan had done at other Alpine Banks in Vail, Avon, Edwards, Eagle, West Glenwood, New Castle, Boulder, Cherry Creek, a tech center and Union Station for a total sum of $66,650, the affidavit reads.

The check the man was attempting to cash in Dillon was reportedly worth $3,500. The man was denied the cash for the check, investigators say, and police contacted him in front of the Qdoba across the street.

After his Miranda rights were read to him, Dugan said the check he just attempted to cash, a pair of credit cards and matching U.S. passport cards were fraudulent, the affidavit states.

Dugan then reportedly said he was working for “someone bigger” who had more fake identification cards and $30,000 in cash in a grey SUV, and Dugan said he was being paid to cash the fraudulent checks, according to the records filed in court.

About a week later, on July 5, McManus received a trip request while driving for Uber. The request came from an account named “James,” and the request was made for a separate guest named “Jon” who wanted a ride from the Summit County Justice Center in Breckenridge, home to the county’s jail.

He took the 80-mile trip since he’s among the few Uber drivers willing to ferry people to the Denver airport and Front Range, McManus said. The tips usually make it worthwhile, he said, although the trip seemed odd from the start.

Somewhat suspicious of the situation, McManus said he called the phone number linked to the account and a woman picked up. McManus said she told him over the phone that she had just bailed Dugan out of jail.

Dugan’s bail was posted at $2,000 on July 5, according to 5th Judicial District spokesperson John Bryan.

While red flags were raised, nothing overtly suspicious had occurred, so McManus carried on with the trip. But as they were driving, Dugan’s story began to unfold. Dugan revealed he was charged with attempted bank robbery. A small dashcam hanging under McManus’ rearview mirror captured the whole event.

“I didn’t try to — I did,” Dugan said related to his case, according to the footage.

“And then he started saying how he did it,” McManus said.

In between naps in the back seat of McManus’ Uber, Dugan regaled his chauffeur with stories about criminal exploits, some of which Dugan claimed law enforcement knew nothing about, McManus said.

Throughout the situation, McManus never felt fear, he said, and was actually doing what he could not to laugh. 

“I’m just dying laughing because you can’t make this stuff up,” McManus said. “This is what movies are made of.”

The drive took McManus all the way from Breckenridge to a motel in the Aurora area.

As soon as Dugan was out and McManus was away, he said he called the Summit County jail non-emergency number to explain what had just happened.

McManus also said he reached out to the Dillon Police Department. After explaining to them the situation, he said he asked what he should do with the money since he was told the cash tip was part of the man’s loot. The officer said he could keep it, McManus said.

Since the journey, McManus said he’s quit doing guest trips.

Dugan was arrested on July 20, Bryan said. He faces charges of felony forgery, theft and false identification. Dugan failed to appear for his July 13 court date and his bond was increased to $5,000, Bryan said. He has not yet posted bond and his next court date is set for Aug. 18.

Dillon Police Department Chief Cale Osborn said the department could not comment on the situation as the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office is handling the case.

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