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Cricket Player Charged With Restaurant Theft

DENVER (CBS4)- Clinton Goodchild, a former professional cricket player from Australia, now living in the Denver metro area, has been charged with felony theft.

Goodchild was accused by police and prosecutors of stealing approximately $23,000 in furniture and restaurant equipment from a LoDo restaurant space he had been subleasing.

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Luke McConnell, an attorney representing Goodchild, told CBS4, "Mr. Goodchild adamantly denies the allegation that a theft occurred, and as is always the case there are two sides to the story, but due to the pending criminal case no further comment can be made at this time."

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Court and police records obtained by CBS4 show that Denver police obtained an arrest warrant for Goodchild in April. The documents state that Goodchild had subleased the space near 18th and Blake from James Beckley and his son Spencer, beginning in August 2017 for $5,500 per month as part of a three year lease, but that Goodchild stopped paying rent on the property in December.

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Three months later, Spencer Beckley said the building manager called him to say building surveillance cameras showed Goodchild removing equipment from the space and loading it into a pickup truck.

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"The fact that he did that and thought he could walk away unscathed is shocking to me," said Spencer Beckley.

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Spencer Beckley (credit: CBS)

CBS4 viewed the surveillance tape which showed Goodchild and a second man removing items large and small from the space. They are then seeing loading it into a pickup truck which eventually is driven away.

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Beckley said the 2,300 square foot space was filled with pricey restaurant equipment like a convection oven, meat slicer, prep tables and a soda machine, but that Goodchild took it all. Beckley said he and his father owned all the equipment.

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Goodchild was arrested and jailed in Denver in mid-April. He was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. Police say Goodchild has no previous criminal record.

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Although his attorney wouldn't say much, Goodchild shared a lengthy statement with CBS4: "In regard to the allegations of wrong doing I look forward to the upcoming trial date where this matter will be cleared up, and the facts regarding the case shared. Until that time, I hope the American way of innocent until proven guilty is in full effect, as at no time was there any negative intent with the removal of property during the onsite Blake St renovations. I think its fair to say for me to enter the space in the middle of the day, use my active key card and remove, transport and safely store the larger heavy unneeded items in front of security cameras that I know are there (as some of them I arranged and paid to have installed) so that planned renovations could continue are not the actions of someone trying to steal property. The items hold no value to me and are currently taking up valuable storage space. Upon learning of the claims, the safe and itemized return of the items to the location has been refused by ownership after multiple attempts. While I am at times confused by many aspects of the current legal maze I find myself in, I have great faith that through the American justice system in the end the truth will be known, and my name will be quickly cleared. My history will show no past criminal behavior in my personal life, or business dealings of which there have been many over the years. I have always served as a positive and morally sound member of the community. I have come to love Denver as my adopted home and intend to be an active member of the community for many years to come."

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Spencer Beckley told CBS4, "I just want him to be held accountable and stand trial."

He said getting the equipment back would make it easier to re-rent the space, "It would be a fantastic selling point to have that in the restaurant."

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It's no mystery where the missing equipment is. James Beckley told CBS4 that Goodchild has offered to return the missing equipment and furniture.

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"Yes, he has offered to do that," said Beckley.

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But Beckley said he was only interested "If he brings it back and puts the restaurant back together and pays back rent."

Goodchild is due back in court in July.

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