Cops: Arrest may solve rash of high-end Aspen bike thefts
A 31-year-old Glenwood Springs man arrested Friday might be responsible for a rash of high-end mountain-bike thefts in the past couple years, an Aspen police detective said Monday.
Jose Sanchez faces one count of felony theft after Aspen police officers were able to link him to the theft of three bicycles stolen in September and October and advertised for sale on eBay, Detective Jeff Fain said. Police were in the process Monday of requesting further records from eBay about Sanchez’s sales history, he said.
“This could be a fairly significant case,” Fain said.
That’s because Aspen has seen a rash of high-end mountain-bike thefts in the past year and a half to two years, which is rare, he said.
“Most of the bike thefts in Aspen are opportunistic, where someone takes an unlocked bike,” Fain said. “It’s unusual for someone to snip bike locks and take them.”
Between 25 and 30 bikes have been taken in that manner during that time period, he said.
Police tracked down Sanchez after a man reported his full-suspension Diamondback mountain bike with green rims stolen Sept. 27 from in front of Matsuhisa on Main Street, according to an affidavit filed in Aspen District Court.
Fain located a bike on eBay that fit the description of the Diamondback, but it contained a stock photo instead of a photo of the actual bike, which the detective found unusual, the affidavit states.
Officers were able to track the name of the person on eBay to a Facebook profile of a Carbondale resident who worked for Double Diamond Moving and Storage, according to the affidavit. They found a phone number on the Facebook site they tracked back to Sanchez, the affidavit states.
Then on Wednesday, officers received another call about two more stolen bikes, including a high-end mountain bike. This time it was a Yeti mountain bike with distinct custom parts and another mountain bike taken from in front of an Aspen residence, according to the affidavit.
Soon after, an Aspen police sergeant found the exact Yeti bike listed for sale on eBay by the same name previously tracked back to Sanchez, the affidavit states. Also, it appeared from the picture that the bike was in a “warehouse-like area” with a yellow forklift, according to the affidavit.
Fain said officers were able to recover one of the two bikes stolen Wednesday from a shipping container no one used at the Double Diamond storage facility in Carbondale. The Yeti and the Diamondback were not recovered and may still be hidden or may have been sold, he said.
Sanchez works as a mover for Double Diamond, the affidavit states. Managers and employees at the facility were cooperative with police and don’t appear to be involved in the thefts, Fain said.
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Aspen School District’s younger students will return to class next week, but that’s not the case for those in the seventh through 12th grade, who will continue to take courses from home.