Robbery suspect has ties to Aspen
January 28, 2007
ASPEN Federal agents last week arrested Christian Gamblin, a former Aspen resident with previous run-ins with local law enforcement, on suspicion of robbing a bank in Centennial.Federal authorities nabbed Gamblin on Jan. 23 – the same day he allegedly handed a Wells Fargo Bank teller a note demanding she hand over all the money in her drawer. The note also said he had an explosive device in a bag he was carrying, according to a criminal complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Denver.Gamblin had lived at Truscott apartments as recently as November 2004. In March 2005, he wrote a letter to local newspapers, thanking the Aspen Valley Hospital staff for its treatment after he reportedly had been diagnosed with AIDS. In 2004 Gamblin also was charged with three felonies in Pitkin County, including failure to register as a sex offender. A 1991 conviction in California of “lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age,” requires Gamblin to register as a sex offender whenever he moves.Gamblin’s latest brush with the law may prove to be the most severe if he’s convicted of bank robbery, which carries up to 20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000.Authorities arrested Gamblin after the teller handed him an unspecified amount of cash, which also included a global positioning sensor, court papers allege.The GPS activated once Gamblin exited the bank, but he later discovered the device and flushed it down a toilet at a local business, according to court papers. But a Littleton police officer, after receiving a tip about a vehicle that met the description of the one Gamblin was driving, tracked him down at the same local business. When Gamblin exited the storefront, the officer approached Gamblin, frisked him and found a “large wad of bills” in his front pocket, according to court documents.When the officer ran a check on Gamblin’s name, he learned he was wanted in Colorado for failure to appear, court documents claim.Gamblin was cooperative during the arrest and subsequently confessed to the bank robbery, authorities said. Gamblin also told police he apologized to the bank teller when he demanded the money, documents said. A federal public defender, who was not available for comment over the weekend, is representing Gamblin in court.Rick Carroll’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.