A warrant with a side of sushi | AspenTimes.com

A warrant with a side of sushi

Joel Stonington

Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” In a scene that could have been straight out of the movies, an Aspen detective walked into a trendy, upscale local restaurant and arrested a ski instructor who was wining and dining a client for his role in a crime of international proportions.

Jared Hidden, a 28-year-old ski instructor at Buttermilk, was arrested for allegedly stealing a Rolex watch from an acquaintance in England.

Matsuhisa, the Japanese restaurant at Bleeker and Main, was bubbling with life Thursday evening when Aspen Police Detective Chris Womack approached the table where Hidden was having dinner with a client and his girlfriend.

Womack introduced himself, pulled his badge and asked Hidden to step outside. According to Womack, Hidden agreed, but as they walked, Hidden pulled his shirtsleeves down to cover the Rolex on his wrist.

“When I was talking to him, he kept his left hand behind his back,” Womack said. “So I knew it was the stolen watch the whole time. I said, ‘I can tell you’re nervous, and I know it’s the stolen watch.'”

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After that, Womack said Hidden confessed to the alleged theft and handed over the Rolex ” an Explorer 1 with a silver band and black face worth approximately $3,800.

Ben Little, of Islington, England reported the watch stolen last summer, around the time Hidden was visiting. Little filed a police report in England that eventually made its way across the Atlantic to Womack in Aspen.

“Ben believed this guy Jared had stolen the watch,” said Womack. “Subsequently, I found out that Jared was here in the states and possibly wearing that watch.”

Womack’s investigation revealed Hidden was planning dinner with his clients at the popular sushi bar on Thursday, so he obtained a search warrant.

“At first he said, ‘Well, my dad bought it,'” Womack said, recounting the scene outside the restaurant. “I said, ‘I know your family is not happy with you because of previous run-ins with the law.’ He was very nervous. He finally said, ‘OK, it’s a stolen watch.'”

The watch will be taken to a jeweler who can find the serial number and match it up with the serial number of Little’s watch, Womack said. Hidden was charged with possession of stolen property.

Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com

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