Burglars hit homes, businesses and cars | AspenTimes.com

Burglars hit homes, businesses and cars

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Five homes, two businesses and two cars were burglarized in Aspen early Thursday morning, and the culprits remain at large.

In some cases, the burglar or burglars entered rooms where people were sleeping in order to steal wallets and purses.

“It could add aggravating circumstances to the crimes that people were in the house,” said Aspen Police Deputy Chief Glenn Schaffer. “That’s pretty ambitious when someone goes into an occupied dwelling, and in some circumstances going into rooms where people were sleeping.”

Police said the string of burglaries probably began at the office of Fasching House on South Galena Street around midnight, where a safe was tampered with but not successfully opened. A manager of the hotel noticed the office open at midnight and called police.

But Schaffer said the rest of the burglaries were not discovered until later Thursday morning. Police think that after breaking into the Fasching House office, the burglars broke into the Frias Property Management office on Durant Street, taking keys to various residences managed by the company.

With the keys, the burglars are suspected to have entered three condominiums managed by the company on the east end of Durant Street and taken items like cash and credit cards. Police are unsure how much money was taken.

“Nobody reported hearing or seeing anyone,” Schaffer said. “They reported it this morning when they woke up.”

The burglars are then thought to have gone to Aspen’s West End and entered two occupied homes.

The West End houses were not part of Frias Property Management. Schaffer said they were left unlocked overnight.

“Residents reported waking up this morning and finding things gone along the same lines ” money, wallets and purses,” Schaffer said.

“I have no idea what their rational or their plan was [in the West End].”

Schaffer and Aspen Police detective Jim Crowley would not comment on whether or not they felt that a Frias Property Management or Fasching House employee may have committed the burglaries. Both businesses were entered forcibly through windows, Schaffer said.

Two car break-ins also occurred around the same time near Fasching House, Schaffer said, which leads police to believe that those break-ins are related to the burglaries. Police wouldn’t specify, but said they do have some evidence from the burglaries to follow up.

“I don’t think there was an extreme amount off cash taken ” it was mostly credit cards and relatively small amounts of cash,” Schaffer said. “It’s possible there are more houses out there that have been burglarized, but it hasn’t been reported yet.”

The police department will take an “extra cautious look” at alarm reports in the next few days.

Anyone with information about the string of burglaries is encouraged to call the Aspen Police Department at 920-5400.

[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com]