Man posing as contractor arrested for allegedly stealing from Northwest Colorado businesses
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A man accused of taking money from two Oak Creek businesses and allegedly failing to fulfill promised services was arrested this week in Routt County.
Rodger Alan Miller, 64, who listed his address as Hot Sulphur Springs, was arrested Sept. 4 and charged with theft/larceny, a class 5 felony, according to Routt County Court records. According to an arrest affidavit, Miller contacted the owners of Rachel’s BBQ and Kate’s Cafe in Oak Creek identifying himself as a contractor in the refrigeration business.
He was given money from both businesses, as well as by the owner of the building housing Rachel’s BBQ, for a variety of work and equipment that wasn’t fulfilled, according to the affidavit.
On July 2, Rachel Green, owner of Rachel’s BBQ, was contacted by Miller who said he could help with her equipment needs. She happened to be having issues with a walk-in cooler.
He arrived at the business the next day, with several people that he referred to as his crew. He introduced himself as Alan Joseph Miller, asking to be called Joseph, the affidavit said.
Business cards referred to Miller as chief engineer of Floor to Ceiling Commercial Kitchen Services, a not-for-profit pool of service technicians, which he said was also associated with Unity Music School in Boulder that provides music lessons to underprivileged children and philanthropic support for other Colorado agencies, such as for teen suicide prevention and hospice care.
Miller performed an inspection of the refrigerator unit at Rachel’s BBQ, appeared to clean its roof fan units and assured Green the necessary parts to fix the unit would be ordered. In exchange, he was given $625, according to the affidavit.
It was noted in the affidavit that he later showed up unexpectedly to Green’s home and asked for gas money. Miller informed her at that time that he would return in three days but never did, the affidavit said.
Miller returned to the business several days later asking for a further $650 payment, which he was given. He told Green the repair parts had been ordered and the unit would be repaired by Aug. 15.
After it appeared the unit wouldn’t be fixed, Green contacted a refrigeration company in Steamboat Springs to repair the unit. They informed her that a cleaning would usually only cost about $200, compared to Miller’s charge of $625.
Green told police Miller also said he was purchasing a $6 million home in Yampa and that he had purchased the Rachel’s BBQ’s building, which was up for sale. Neither claim was true, according to the affidavit.
Miller had also charged the owner of the building $3,215 for work on the walk-in cooler. He received a check covering that cost.
As of Aug. 22, the only work Miller had performed was an “inadequate” cleaning of the walk-in’s roof unit, according to the affidavit.
Kay Brockmeyer, owner of Kate’s Cafe, reported to police that Miller visited her business July 8 and gave her the same “story” he had told Green.
Miller said he could provide a meat slicer for $600 and deliver it in two days. He was given a check for that amount, the affidavit said.
When Brockmeyer didn’t receive the promised equipment, she contacted Miller who offered many excuses such as his truck broke down or was full, according to the affidavit.
Both businesses contacted the police, who then spoke with Miller. He explained he ran a legitimate business.
After speaking to police, Miller told Brockmeyer he would no longer do business with her since she involved police. He never offered a refund or the equipment.
In an investigation, police found that Miller used several aliases and had a lengthy criminal history, including prior thefts and fraud cases spanning decades and across several states. He was currently on parole for a similar crime in Wyoming and wanted in Grand County.
His criminal history established a pattern of Miller approaching business owners and representing himself as a refrigeration or commercial kitchen contractor, taking deposits from businesses without completing the services promised, according to police.
Miller was arrested by Oak Creek police Sept. 4 on a warrant issued Aug. 29.
He was still being held in Routt County Jail as of Friday. His bond has been set at $10,000.
A two-vehicle, head-on crash near Green Mountain Reservoir on Sunday closed Colorado Highway 9 for multiple hours and sent at least eight people to hospitals, including one via a Flight For Life helicopter.