Former IT director for Vail arrested on embezzlement charges now fugitive after cutting off device

Posted at 1:48 PM, Nov 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-15 15:49:00-05

VAIL, Colo. — Police are looking for the former IT director for the Town of Vail after he cut off his GPS monitoring device on Friday.

Ronald James Braden, 54, was arrested by Vail police on July 4 on multiple charges including violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, embezzlement of public property, theft, forgery and more, according to police.

Braden was released on bond from the Eagle County Detention Facility on Aug. 27. He was ordered by the court to wear the GPS monitoring device as condition of his release, according to police.

Police said Braden’s GPS device sent a tamper alert at 12:45 p.m. Friday and then stopped tracking. Police found Braden’s two vehicles in separate locations in Edwards and Avon. One vehicle was located at the Avon Walmart at about 1:30 p.m., where he is seen being picked up in a late model silver Toyota 4Runner with factory roof racks and stickers on the back window.

Braden’s July arrest was a result of an 18-month investigation in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Authorities began investigating the suspect after his resignation from his IT position in November 2018. In the wake of his absence, town officials picked up on an elaborate scheme to defraud taxpayers over the span of six years, according to police.

Braden was arrested on the morning of July 4 near Minturn. He resisted arrest and injured two of the three responding officers, police said. The officers were treated for their injuries at the scene and were released.

Police said Braden is not known to be a threat to the general public, but he has made threats toward the Town of Vail police and law enforcement in general.

Please report any contact or sightings of him to the Vail Public Safety Communications Center at 970-479-2201, or by calling 911.