Basalt teens face felony burglary charges
The Aspen Times
Two Basalt teenagers face felony burglary and trespassing charges stemming from an Oct. 11 report of missing items from a residence in the Roaring Fork Mobile Home Park on Emma Road.
They were advised of formal charges Monday. Erik M. Andrade, 18, was present in Pitkin County District Court for a formal filing of the charges: second-degree burglary of a dwelling and first-degree criminal trespass of a dwelling, both felonies, and theft between $750 and $2,000, a misdemeanor. He recently posted $10,000 bond to obtain release from jail.
The second suspect is 16 and was advised of identical charges in Pitkin County Juvenile Court. Because he is a minor, his court file is not available to the media.
Both are expected to seek legal counsel through the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. They are accused of using a key hidden outside the residence to enter the house, where they allegedly stole a Macbook Pro computer valued at $1,500.
An Oct. 27 affidavit in support of their arrests, written by Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office deputy Erin Smiddy, describes a investigation that took more than two weeks.
On the evening of Oct. 11, Smiddy was called to Basalt Center Circle in Eagle County, where Basalt Police officers had responded to a fight. Once there, she met three male teenagers who were not involved in the fight but wanted to report a burglary. They claimed the suspects involved in the fight had burglarized one of their houses in the mobile home park, located in Pitkin County, earlier in the day.
The teen whose home was burglarized said he left the house mid-afternoon with one of the other teens (who was not involved in the fight) and that upon returning at 4 p.m., it appeared someone had entered the residence and the laptop computer belonging to his friend was missing. No one had permission to be at the home that day with the exception of family and guests, the affidavit said.
Soon after, a neighbor pointed to Andrade and the juvenile, saying he saw them enter the home around 3:30 p.m. They were inside for about 20 minutes, the neighbor told Smiddy, and they left on their longboard skateboards. Andrade was reportedly carrying a backpack.
Smiddy contacted Andrade and the juvenile, and both denied going into the burglarized house that day, according to the affidavit.
The investigation turned to a residence at West Homestead Drive in Basalt, where Andrade had been seen throughout the week. A Basalt police officer and an Eagle County deputy assisting Smiddy discovered Andrade’s backpack and the laptop in the back seat of a vehicle belonging to Andrade’s mother.
Soon after, Smiddy and Pitkin County Deputy Grant Jahnke got to the scene and stood near the vehicle. Andrade and Gomez arrived on foot. Jahnke questioned Andrade, who said he had never seen the car before. After further questioning, he admitted the car belonged to his mother, who was out of town.
Andrade denied having been near the car while his mother was away, but a Basalt police officer said he believed he saw Andrade and the juvenile standing next to it at the Basalt Park and Ride on Cody Lane a day earlier.
The vehicle was impounded. A search of it on the night of Oct. 16 revealed that the laptop belonged to the friend of the teen whose home was burglarized. It also linked the backpack and a sweatshirt to Andrade based on descriptions from people who had seen him on Oct. 11.
That same night, an Eagle County deputy informed Smiddy that Andrade had been arrested for trespassing at the home of the juvenile. The juvenile told the deputy that he and Andrade did go into the home that was suspected of being burglarized on Oct. 11, but that “Andrade was the one who took the laptop and put it in his backpack,” the affidavit said.
Andrade’s next scheduled court appearance is Dec. 1.
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With a response rate to the 2020 Census survey below 40%, Pitkin County’s population appears to have been undercounted by at least 850 people.