Basalt woman accused of snaking Python purses from Aspen employer
The Aspen Times
A Basalt woman was jailed in Pitkin County on Tuesday following accusations that she stole three expensive purses from the downtown Aspen store where she worked last year.
Brooke E. Haring, 32, was advised Wednesday by District Judge Gail Nichols that she faces a felony theft charge as well as a misdemeanor charge of failing to appear in Pitkin County Court to address a traffic violation. Nichols set her bond at $4,000 cash or surety, but told Haring that she also has a $750 bond stemming from the County Court case.
An Aspen Police Department statement written by Sgt. Daniel Davis, the investigating officer, said that Haring was employed by Caribou Jewels, an East Hopkins Avenue retailer, from mid-June to mid-December.
Haring’s employer closed the store from late August until mid-December during the offseason. Haring was technically an employee but was not getting paid during that time, the report said.
Around the time that the store was reopening for the winter season, the store manager discovered that three expensive purses were missing from the store.
“The purses were made by a company that is no longer in business, Ambrosi Abrianna,” Davis wrote. “The purses were made from python skin and very unique.”
Two of the purses had a retail value of $2,500 each while a larger purse was valued at $4,000, according to the manager, who was unable to provide any documentation to police that showed the exact value of the items.
Haring was fired in mid-December after the manager discovered the purses were missing, the report said.
Then, on Jan. 26, the manager saw Haring at the checkout line of City Market grocery in El Jebel. The manager saw that the former employee was wearing the larger purse and took a photograph before confronting her.
“(The manager) asked why she took the purse,” Davis said. “Haring’s first response was that she felt (the manager) ‘screwed’ her over so she took it.”
The manager then made Haring dump out her personal items from the purse and took it, the report said.
In court Wednesday, during Haring’s advisement on the possible charges, prosecutor Andrea Bryan said that Haring missed County Court hearings in September and January, which lead to the failure-to-appear warrant.
She said Haring had a criminal history that included theft, although the details weren’t readily available.
While the store manager retrieved the larger purse, one of the smaller purses was tracked down at a local consignment shop, Bryan said.
Bryan asked Nichols to keep Haring’s bond amount at $10,000, but Nichols settled on $4,000 after Haring explained her ties to the community to alleviate concerns that she was a flight risk.
Nichols explained to Haring that a conviction on the felony theft charge could result in a prison sentence of one year to 18 months.
Haring’s next court appearance was set for Feb. 17.
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