Colorado guy charged with stealing hundreds of local newspaper copies

A Colorado man has been summoned to court after admitting to stealing copies of a local newspaper.

Paul Choate, 41, was cited for petty theft after swiping over 200 printed copies of the Ouray County Plaindealer from a dozen racks in the region, according to an online article published Saturday.

Colorado guy charged with stealing hundreds of local newspaper copies

“Someone didn’t like this edition of the Ouray County Plaindealer,” co-publisher Mike Wiggins wrote on social media on Thursday, the day the thefts took place. “Guess which article.”

The publication had recounted the story of a 17-year-old girl from Ouray who said she was raped more than once at the residence of the town’s head of police, Jeff Wood. Three people were detained for her alleged rape, including the chief’s stepson, Nate Dieffenderffer.

“So they grabbed almost every newspaper from our racks in Ouray County. “If your goal was to silence or intimidate us, you failed miserably,” Wiggins said Thursday. “We will find out who did it. And there will be another press run soon.”

The newspaper said in its web piece that investigators used security footage to locate Choate. He runs Kate’s Place restaurant in Ridgway, a nearby town.

Choate reportedly acknowledged taking the newspapers because of the front-page story. The publication stated that it was not exposing Choate’s involvement in the sexual assault case and that the theft had nothing to do with the defendants, their families, or the local police.

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