California man accused of theft told to get lawyer |

California man accused of theft told to get lawyer

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

A California man accused of taking $8,000 from an Aspen woman in exchange for a vehicle he never delivered was ordered Monday to find legal representation before his next Pitkin County District Court appearance on Jan. 6.

David Jon Parriott, 48, of Beverly Hills, Calif., made a brief appearance before District Judge Gail Nichols on Monday morning. He was arrested and booked into the Pitkin County Jail on Nov. 26 after first turning himself in to California authorities on Nov. 15, court records show. Nichols has given him permission to travel back and forth between California and Colorado for his Aspen court appearances.

Aspen policeman Jeff Fain wrote in a statement that a woman contacted him in April to report a case of fraud that allegedly was first initiated in late July 2012.

The woman wanted to purchase an older model Toyota Land Cruiser and had been shopping for it on the Internet retail site eBay. She then contacted Parriott via email outside of the eBay site, according to Fain.

In early August 2012, Parriott sent the woman photographs of a white 1987 Land Cruiser. They then began negotiating for the purchase of the vehicle and the cost of various upgrades and repairs, Fain wrote.

At first, Parriott quoted her a price of $12,000, which was negotiated down to $9,120, the statement says. Later that same month, he sent her a text message asking for half of the money, $4,560, to be wired into his bank account. They negotiated further, down to $8,000, and the full amount was wired from Aspen’s Wells Fargo branch into his Union Bank-Beverly Hills account, police said.

Parriott communicated with the woman on Aug. 28, 2012, saying the vehicle would be ready in “four weeks,” police said. Less than two weeks later, he even visited the woman in Aspen and struck up a friendship, Fain’s statement suggests. But Parriott, over the next few months, “continued to push the deadline further and further out,” the officer wrote.

On Feb. 13, he replied to the woman in a text message, “Sorry I haven’t called you went to rehab I’m leaving here on Monday my life got a little out of control I will call you Tuesday so I can straiten (sic) everything.” A week later, he reportedly blamed bad weather while traveling for his failure to communicate.

Several weeks went by without communication from Parriott to the woman, prompting her to contact the Aspen Police Department, the statement suggests.

Fain’s investigation ensued, and on Oct. 9, Nichols issued a warrant for Parriott’s arrest.

On Wednesday, Parriott was released from jail on $5,000 bond. He faces two felony charges: one count of computer crimes and one count of theft.

In arrest records, his occupation is listed as a self-employed car builder.

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