Code of silence hampered investigation |

Code of silence hampered investigation

Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis said Wednesday there was a “disturbing” code of silence that hampered the investigation of the Aug. 5 armed robbery of Clark’s Market.

Braudis and sheriff’s investigator Joe DiSalvo said some kids and adults supposedly knew information about the robbery, but wouldn’t help.

“I spoke to parents who would call and say `My kid knows something but I don’t want them to get involved,'” DiSalvo said.

Ironically, local law enforcement authorities were under fire by another segment of the community for not solving holdups at Clark’s and other upper-valley businesses this summer.

DiSalvo said some kids obviously were afraid of being labeled a “snitch” so they maintained the code of silence.

Braudis said he can understand such silence on more petty crimes, but not when guns are involved.

“I had always assumed when there’s a crime of violence – which armed robbery is – they would come forward,” Braudis said of people with information. That’s the way it’s always been in his 23 years in local law enforcement, but apparently things have changed.

“That disturbs me,” he said.

Aspen Mayor Rachel Richards was one exception to the lack of cooperation (see related story). Investigators also received help from one source in Boulder and two in Aspen, but only when they were pressed.

Braudis said he’s at a loss to explain why Aspenites suddenly clammed up.

“There’s an awful lot of talk among kids and adults that they knew who was involved in Clark’s,” said Braudis. “If only 10 percent really knew, that’s a lot of people. Somebody should have come in.”

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