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Man to spend 15 months in prison for using welding torch to break into tubes where people leave camping fees

Jayce Peterson, 36, pleaded guilty to stealing camping fees and surveillance cameras from multiple public lands in Colorado.

OAK CREEK, Colo. — A man who lives in a small northwestern Colorado town will spend more than a year in prison for stealing from deposit boxes that people used to pay for camping or day use.

Jayce Peterson, 36, accepted a plea agreement with prosecutors for the crimes, which occurred between July and October 2018, according to a news release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office. In addition to 15 months in prison, the Oak Creek man will also have two concurrent two-year terms of supervised release.

According to prosecutors, Peterson used a welding torch to cut the metal locks off fee tubes throughout northwestern Colorado. He said he typically did so at night, and would use a tarp to conceal what he was doing.

In addition, prosecutors said Peterson stole the surveillance cameras that law enforcement agencies would place at some of these locations, causing more than $39,000 in damage.

The thefts occurred in land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

Peterson was formally sentenced on Jan. 7.

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