Aspen police investigate $95,000 robbery at downtown jewelry store

Staff report

Aspen police are continuing to investigate the robbery of about $95,000 worth of jewelry from a downtown store Tuesday, a detective said Wednesday.

A group possibly as large as five people allegedly committed the thefts from Christopher Walling Jewelry on East Hopkins Avenue after distracting the lone employee who was working, Detective Ritchie Zah said.

An older, heavyset woman allegedly stole a $45,240 18-karat gold pendant that featured diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies while the employee was helping another customer, Zah said.

After that, an older male and another older female entered the shop about the same time as two young girls, who distracted the employee, he said. The employee caught the older man swiping a bracelet, grabbed it back from him and told the couple to get out of the store, Zah said.

The older woman at that time began to make a scene about being accused of theft, but both people left at that time.

The employee later discovered two pairs of earrings missing, he said. One, valued at $28,000, featured diamonds, pearls and 18-karat gold, while the other was made of 18-karat white gold and valued at $21,750, Zah said.

The detective said he believes all five people were working together.

The two girls were described as being “badly dressed,” while the woman who made a scene was described as having bad teeth and speaking in broken English with what may have been a Middle Eastern accent. The older man was described as smelling of cigarette smoke and wearing disheveled clothing, Zah said.

No other stores in Aspen reported being robbed Tuesday, he said.