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Authorities search for auto theft suspect in Jefferson County

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a suspect who stole a vehicle in Gilpin County on Wednesday morning.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his mid-20s with a shaved head. He was last seen wearing a blue jacket with a gray hoodie under the jacket, the sheriff’s office said.

Authorities said the manhunt started with a report of a stolen vehicle from the Coyote Motel in Black Hawk in the 5000 block of Highway 119, authorities said.

John Hicks owns the Ford Excursion that was stolen at the motel.

“I just saw it on the news. Don’t start your car and leave it running,” car theft victim John Hicks said. “Got my daughters shoes tied up, hear my truck revving up and I jumped down the flight of stairs at the motel, get in front of the dude, try to knock on the window.”

Hicks said he tried to stop the suspect and got on the hood of his car.

“I was going to try and stop him, but he just wasn’t stopping, I was able to jump off because I was on the hood,” he said.

Investigators also found a body in the parking lot of the motel but said that based on the preliminary investigation, the death and the stolen vehicle do not appear to be related.

A code red shelter-in-place warning was issued for residents of 465 homes near Swede Gulch and Interstate 70 near Evergreen just before 11 a.m. as authorities searched for the suspect. No one was allowed in or out of the neighborhood.

“Man, honestly, it just kind of throws a kink in things,” resident Charles Seipel said.

The code red was canceled about 1 p.m. because they believe the suspect was no longer in the area after a 2017 gray Dodge Ram pickup truck was stolen from the 28000 block of Meadowlark Drive in Evergreen.

The truck has a license plate number COD-084.