Aspen’s Louis Vuitton store targeted in brazen, $500k burglary
Police looking for two suspects who entered by cutting hole into drywall Saturday night at downtown store
Thieves cut a hole in the storeroom wall of the Louis Vuitton store in downtown Aspen on Saturday and stole as much as $500,000 worth of merchandise, police said Tuesday.
One man and one woman along with two vehicles were caught on surveillance video, though there could have been more thieves and more vehicles involved in the brazen burglary, said Sgt. Rick Magnuson, head of the investigative unit at the Aspen Police Department.
“We do have surveillance of some subjects and vehicles,” he said. “We think they stole between $400,000 and $500,000 … of shoes, accessories and clothing.”
The thieves were inside the store, located at 205 S. Mill St., for about an hour, Magnuson said.
The incident occurred between 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. after the thieves entered an unlocked hallway at the back of the store and cut a hole in the drywall to gain access to the storeroom, Magnuson said. They used an unspecified cutting tool to open a small hole just large enough for one person to enter, he said.
Magnuson declined to comment on whether the store and storeroom were equipped with a burglary alarm, whether the thieves entered and stole from the retail section of the store and whether they would have had to have inside knowledge of the store to do what they did.
“It appears there was at least one female and one male, but there may be others,” he said.
The man and woman wore “COVID-style” masks over the bottom portion of their faces during at least part of the burglary, Magnuson said. Police on Tuesday released pictures taken from surveillance video of the man and woman next to a Dodge minivan and what is believed to be a Chrysler Pacifica.
Magnuson and another detective were attempting Tuesday to collect other nearby surveillance video to try to track the two vehicles leaving town.
Amelie Sicard, manager of the Louis Vuitton store, declined Tuesday to comment on the burglary. The store was closed Monday but open again for business Tuesday, she said.
Anyone with information about the burglary or suspects should call the Aspen Police Department at 970-429-1822.
While no other stores were targeted Saturday, Aspen’s large collection of high-end retail outlets in the downtown core are infrequent targets for thieves.
Two masked men wearing all black clothing unsuccessfully tried to pry open a side door to the Louis Vuitton store in October 2019, before heading over to Meridian Jewelers at 525 E. Cooper Ave. The two men then used a pry bar to open the door to the jewelry store and stole 12 Rolex watches valued at more than $60,000 before fleeing in a late model black SUV.
The alarm at Meridian was triggered at the time, though the men were only inside for a brief period before taking off, Magnuson said at the time. The two men have not been caught.
One of the most brazen robberies in recent memory occurred Dec. 21, 2018, when three men — later identified at natives of Chile — pried open a jewelry display case in the lobby of The Little Nell hotel in the middle of the day and made off with more than $400,000 worth of diamond and gold rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Despite identifying the men by name and indicting them on felony charges, the men have never been caught.
A crew of thieves stole about $100,000 worth of jewelry from a downtown Aspen store in September 2017 after distracting a saleswoman, while another crew lifted a $95,000 silver sable fur coat from a boutique inside The Little Nell in 2016.
Maya Kvek, a Russian native living in Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty in September to one count of misdemeanor theft after being identified as part of the crew who hit the jewelry store in 2017. Kvek, who was caught on surveillance video stealing a gold, bejeweled pendant, was extradited to Aspen, spent 101 days in the Pitkin County Jail and was sentenced to time-served and two years of probation.
Pitkin County sheriff-elect Michael Buglione on Wednesday credited his election victory to grassroots campaigning, hard work, and handshakes.