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A Victor-area resident who led Ravalli County officers on a manhunt Tuesday and Wednesday was charged with felony theft and forgery charges, and his girlfriend was charged with felony obstruction of justice for hiding him in her bedroom.

Officers received a report at 10:40 a.m. Tuesday that 14 checks were missing from a local sand and gravel company, and that between Oct. 16 and Dec. 27, 11 had been forged and cashed for a total of $15,775. The company owner said the only people who would have had access to the checkbook were her son, Alex Ward Sabo, 26, and his girlfriend, Charmaine Curtis, 33.

When contacted, both denied any knowledge of the theft, according to court documents filed Thursday in Ravalli County District Court. But later that day, according to the documents, Sabo acknowledged he took the checks and threatened to take his own life.

After he fled from his mother's home, officers from multiple law enforcement agencies began tracking his footprints in the snow. Within a half mile, they said they found a black leather case containing syringes, a small quantity of suspected heroin, and other drug paraphernalia.

“The tracks entered creeks and open water bodies in an apparent attempt to elude law enforcement,” Deputy County Attorney Thorin Geist wrote in an affidavit. “(Sabo) was pursued for over five miles before they ended at a trailer known for drug activity …”

The trailer’s occupants said Sabo had been there, but departed in a vehicle before officers arrived.

At 2 p.m. the next day, two officers went to Curtis’ home and asked her where Sabo was hiding. While she denied knowing his whereabouts, the officers heard noises coming from a bedroom and Sabo was found in a closet.

Curtis said Sabo told her he had dropped the black leather case while on the run, and a preliminary test of his urine came back positive for the presence of amphetamine, methamphetamine, morphine, opiates and THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Along with the theft and forgery charges, Sabo was charged with felony possession of dangerous drugs and obstructing a peace officer, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held in lieu of a $15,000 bond.

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