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Documents Show How Police Tracked Down Suspect In Blue Bear Case

DENVER (CBS4) - Police documents released this week outline how Denver investigators followed a trail of evidence to their suspect in the Big Blue Bear vandalism case.

The suspect, Joseph Rivas, is now free after the district attorney's office decided there is not enough evidence to prosecute him. (Full Story)

The arrest affidavit in the case against Rivas, 21, notes that traces of green paint were found on the roof of the Colorado Convention Center after someone doused the popular public art installation on March 31, causing $11,000 in damage.

Joseph Rivas (credit: Denver Police)

The paint was traced to a Denver Home Depot, and surveillance video showed Rivas at the store with another man who purchased the paint with the credit card of another man.

That man is a contractor who says Rivas asked him to paint his art studio. The court documents show the contractor painted the studio door a bright green color that is the same color of paint used in the vandalism of the downtown statue.

CBS4 located and interviewed the man, who said Rivas is a "personal friend."

"But as far as telling you anything, I've already told the detectives," he said. "I don't think he did do it."

Rivas told police he wasn't responsible for the vandalism and says he didn't give the leftover paint to anyone. Instead he says he left it, next to a dumpster in the alley behind the art studio.

No one would answer the door at Rivas' home on Wednesday when a CBS4 crew went there in an attempt to interview him.

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