Aspen woman’s heirlooms stolen |

Aspen woman’s heirlooms stolen

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Karla Kuban of Aspen had a priceless piece of her family history stolen in broad daylight Monday in Glenwood Springs and is willing to offer a reward to get it back.

Kuban had just loaded up a U-Haul trailer full of belongings from her Carbondale self-storage unit, and was running errands at the Glenwood Meadows shopping center around 1 p.m. Monday when the theft occurred.

Among her errands was to buy a lock to put on the moving trailer, which she had parked in one of the side employee lots at the Meadows. But in the time she was inside, someone broke into the trailer and stole a plastic storage bin containing several family photographs dating back to the early 20th century.

“These were framed family photos of my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, some of them taken in Germany,” Kuban said. “They are irreplaceable, beloved family pictures. I’m the only one in the family who has them.”

Among the photos was a 1920 black-and-white photo of her newlywed grandparents. Kuban’s grandmother lived to be 106 years old before she died two years ago.

“It’s the only photo I had of the two of them together,” she said.

Also in the box were some more recent family photos and several pieces of framed original art, including four ink drawings of geese and some paintings of the historic Red Onion and Little Annie’s restaurants in Aspen.

Several items, including a bird cage and some bird feeders, were broken and strewn about on the snow outside the trailer.

“I was gone for maybe 15 minutes, and when I got back the door (to the trailer) was all the way open and stuff thrown all over the place,” Kuban said. “The only reason they didn’t take more stuff was they probably saw me coming.”

Kuban is offering a $500 reward for the safe return of the photos, or information leading to an arrest that results in a return of the items.

“I really only care about the photographs more than anything else,” she said.

But there’s also a lesson to be learned about keeping one’s guard up during tough economic times, she added.

“These are sad times economically, and I should have put a lock on (the trailer) before I put stuff in it,” Kuban said. “If whoever stole it is that desperate for money, I’d be glad to give them $500 for the safe return of the photos.”

Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said there are no leads in the case.

Unfortunately there are no security cameras in the Meadows parking lots, but he asks any witnesses who may have seen someone rummaging through a U-Haul trailer there around the time of the theft to contact police.

He, too, said people need to be extra cautious these days.

“We have seen a trend of thefts from vehicles, and people need to be cautious about leaving anything of value out in the open, especially unlocked, where someone can get to it easily,” Wilson said.

The fact that someone would take something of sentimental value, that’s of little value to whoever took it, makes it more disappointing, he said.

“It’s one thing to steal an iPod or a laptop, but it’s another thing to steal someone’s personal history,” he said. “They need to do the right thing and get the property back to this lady.”

Kuban asks that anyone with information that may lead to the return of the photos contact her at (970) 925-4354, or (970) 618-3200.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User