Rare attempted mugging in Summit County leads to arrest
Summit Daily News
Summit County authorities arrested a local man on attempted aggravated robbery charges following a failed mugging the evening of Feb. 16 in a parking lot at Copper Mountain.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office brought in Matthew Mitchell, 26, March 2 in connection with an armed robbery attempt during which the suspect approached the victim with a “switchblade-type” knife and demanded the victim’s wallet. Mitchell was identified with the help of video surveillance and a witness who saw the robbery attempt, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.
Mitchell faces one count of attempted aggravated robbery, a felony which carries a possible sentence of two to six years in prison and fines of up to $500,000 as well as one count of felony menacing, which could carry a penalty of three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Mitchell, who was released March 3 on a $25,000 bond, was living in Copper Mountain employee housing at the time of the robbery, according to the sheriff’s office.
Mitchell is a former employee of Copper Mountain and was not employed by the resort at the time of the incident.
Authorities say the robbery took place at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Wheeler parking lot. The victim dropped his wife off at JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern, parked the car and was walking to the restaurant when a man walked up to him and said “Hey, man, how’s it going?”
Then the suspect pulled a knife from his jacket and asked the victim to hand over his wallet. The victim ran to the restaurant and found Copper security, who contacted the sheriff’s office, according to the statement.
The victim’s description of the man who tried to rob him seemed to fit a “person of interest,” in another unsolved and unrelated theft reported by Mitchell.
Mitchell had previously reported his laptop stolen and told authorities the person he thought took it had said “he was so broke he wanted to start robbing people,” according to the statement. But authorities found holes in Mitchell’s story and began questioning people Mitchell claimed to have been with the night of the attempted robbery. One eventually said he’d seen the attempted robbery. Video surveillance of the parking lot showed what happened and led authorities to issue an arrest warrant for Mitchell.
A hearing on bond is set for March 15.
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