Deputies track lost iPhone to Boulder, arrest Denver man on felonies

Published on August 25, 2021

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A wanted Denver man was booked into the Weld County Jail early Monday morning after a deputy tracked his lost cellphone to the bed of the suspect’s pickup.

Steven Sandoval, 51, was arrested on charges of criminal impersonation, criminal mischief, attempt to influence a public servant and eluding, all felonies, as well as misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, driving on a revoked license, driving without insurance and possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance.

Sandoval also had two active misdemeanor warrants for his arrest for flight to avoid prosecution and failure to appear in court. He added one felony charge of attempting to introduce contraband into the jail during booking.

The arrest stems from about 1:15 a.m. Monday, when deputies responded to a report of a suspicious person at a storage lot in the 9100 block of Weld County Road 2 near Brighton. Once there, deputies observed a white 2000 Chevy pickup driven by Sandoval.

Deputies performed a traffic stop inside the storage lot and contacted Sandoval, who said he was his little brother, Anthony. The deputy pulled up on his cellphone a mugshot of Steven Sandoval, as well as a list of his known tattoos and was able to confirm the driver was in fact Steven Sandoval.

While trying to talk Sandoval out of his pickup to take him into custody, the deputy placed his county-issued cellphone on the rail of the truck’s bed. Suddenly, Sandoval shifted into drive and fled the scene, crashing through a security gate in the process.

A short time later, the deputy realized his cellphone was missing. Considering it is county property, the deputy felt it was important to locate the phone as quickly as possible. He used his personal cellphone to call another deputy to have him find it using the “Find My iPhone” app.

The second deputy was able to locate the cellphone as it traveled west toward Boulder on the E-470 Tollway. The phone stopped about 2:47 a.m. at an address in the 4800 block of Jay Road in Boulder.

Deputies contacted Boulder County Dispatch and asked the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office to respond to the address. Boulder deputies were able to identify Sandoval and take him into custody until Weld deputies arrived. The Weld deputy’s cellphone was also located in the bed of Sandoval’s truck.

Sandoval was first taken to the hospital for a medical clearance before he was driven to the Weld County Jail. He remains in custody on $23,000 bond.

Anyone with information regarding this or any other crime is asked to call the Weld County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 356-4015 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimeshurt.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward.