Missteps, truck woes help snare two-time suspect

A 39-year-old Mancos man with contortionist skills loves Dodge trucks. He attempted to steal two with 31 days late last year.

Footprints in the snow led authorities to an eyewitness who identified the suspected car thief on Oct. 30, and the same defendant reportedly broke down on the highway after stealing a second vehicle on Dec. 1. In a plea deal on Tuesday, Jan. 7, Shadrach Mykytiuk, 39, of Mancos pled guilty in both cases before District Court Judge Todd Plewe.

Court records reveal Mykytiuk stole a 2001 Dodge pickup from the P&D Grocery in October. He reportedly stole the vehicle, so he could drive to Cortez to kill a subject that broke the rear window of the defendant's 2008 Subaru Impreza earlier the same day.

Mancos Dep. Sean Kiely reportedly followed footprints in the snow to an apartment complex on the 200 block of East Menefee Street, where an eyewitness to the crime identified the defendant.

In a separate case 31 days later, court records reveal Mykytiuk was again charged with motor vehicle theft in December. He reportedly stole a 1998 Dodge Ram pickup from his father's business, Gary's Automotive. After hotwiring the vehicle, the defendant reportedly drove the vehicle until it broke down on Hwy. 160, at which time he called to turn himself into authorities.

Under the plea agreement, charges of escape, resisting arrest, unlawful use of a controlled substance and aggravated motor vehicle theft were dismissed. Mykytiuk pled guilty Tuesday to obstructing a peace office and aggravated motor vehicle theft.

District Attorney Will Furse and public defender Amy Smith had agreed the defendant wouldn't face any jail time under the plea agreement. Judge Plewe, however, rejected the stipulation.

"I'm not willing to accept an agreement that no jail time can be imposed," said Plewe. "That's up to the court's discretion."

A sentencing hearing was scheduled for 11 a.m. on Feb. 20. Judge Plewe told Mykytiuk he could face 12 to 18 months in prison followed by a year of parole.

Mykytiuk is currently in custody under $9,000 in bonds.

Court records reveal the defendant slipped his handcuffs from the front to the back at least twice after he was apprehended in October. As Dep. Kiely approached the Montezuma County jail near the intersection of Empire Street and Mildred Road, Mykytiuk reportedly managed to escape the patrol car.

Records state a foot chase ensued through the park before the defendant was tased and subsequently apprehended again.

Both vehicles were recovered and returned to the owners.

tbaker@cortezjournal.com