Cops: Local man blames girlfriend for thievery | AspenTimes.com

Cops: Local man blames girlfriend for thievery

A local teen who admitted stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise while working at an Aspen clothing store in November was charged a week ago for again biting the hand that feeds him, according to court documents.

Kaden Gustin, 19, now faces a second count of felony theft, this time for allegedly stealing more than $12,000 in cash from the mother of a friend who allowed him to stay at her Snowmass Village home for a month, according to Snowmass Village police affidavit.

Gustin first denied taking the cash from the woman's purse after she allowed him to borrow her car, the affidavit states. Two days later, however, he admitted blowing most of the cash on a $2,000-a-night room at the Little Nell Residences and gifts for his girlfriend, who he hoped would move with him to California, according to the document.

"Gustin said (his girlfriend) makes him do 'weird s—' because he feels it's the only way to keep her around," according to the affidavit written by Officer Jason Powell.

He said he happened on the cash after knocking the purse over in the car, and "believes anybody that was put in that situation would probably make the same decision," the affidavit states.

Snowmass Village police first received a call from the mother of one of Gustin's friends Feb. 18, reporting that she allowed Gustin to use her car three days earlier. She said she'd recently "cashed multiple paychecks" and left the cash in her purse in the car when Gustin used it, the affidavit states.

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After Gustin returned the car, the cash was gone, though he had $600 worth of groceries with him, which she thought was odd because she knew he didn't have much money. The woman said she confronted Gustin about the missing money, but he denied taking it, according to the document.

"(The friend's mother) did not want to believe that Gustin could have taken the money because she had taken him in and trusted him," Powell's affidavit states.

Gustin denied taking the money after the officer first interviewed him, too, though he was arrested anyway on two unspecified court warrants from Garfield County and Eagle County, according to the affidavit.

However, the officer then spoke with Gustin's "on-and-off-again girlfriend," who told them he showed her $10,000 in cash Feb. 18, which he said his grandfather gave him. In addition to the gifts Gustin bought her, the woman said he gave her $4,100 in cash "for traveling expenses" for the move to California, the affidavit states.

The woman returned the cash, the clothes Gustin bought her and $300 in makeup to the Snowmass Village police.

"Gustin said he did it because of (his girlfriend)," the affidavit states. "Gustin said after all the shopping and eating out in Aspen over Presidents Day weekend, there was no money left except what he had given (his girlfriend)."

In November, Gustin admitted to Aspen police he stole 18 separate items from Moncler in downtown Aspen while working there just a month and a half. A staff member at the store reported catching him leaving the store with a $1,675 ski jacket in his bag.

Gustin told Snowmass Village police last month that he committed the Moncler thefts because of his girlfriend as well, according to the most recent affidavit.

jauslander@aspentimes.com