Cops mum on burglaries
Investigators at the Aspen Police Department remained tight-lipped yesterday about the wave of burglaries that hit ten businesses in town early Monday morning.Officer Eric Deutchlander told The Aspen Times he has yet to identify any suspects, determine the order of the crimes or estimate the total losses. About the only information he is sure of is the names of the victims and the approximate time they were victimized – between 2:30 and 7 a.m.Neither Schaffer nor Assistant Police Chief Keith Ikeda would say whether the incidents in Aspen were connected to two burglary attempts in Basalt the same night. Police also would not say whether they believe the burglaries in Aspen are connected.But the people who found their businesses in disarray when they came to work Monday morning have a pretty good idea about what happened – at least when it comes to their business.Perhaps the biggest loss of the night came at Ute City Bar & Grill, at the corner of Galena Street and Hyman Avenue. Owner Maurice Couturier said the antique front door and its frame were completely destroyed by the thieves, who pried their way in with a crow bar or some other metal instrument.”It’s an historic building. To replace the door will cost between $7,500 and $10,000. It’s not like you can go out and buy a new door,” he said.No money was taken from the restaurant, but a computer screen was broken and a few bottles of whiskey and wine were stolen.L’Hostaria owner Tizano Gortan believes he lost about $1,000 in cash. Two doors at the Italian restaurant on Hyman Avenue were destroyed.Both Couturier and Gortan said they are looking into installing alarm systems.The only other Aspen business to lose money was The Steak Pit. One of Aspen’s oldest restaurants lost “a small amount of cash,” although owner Peter Guy won’t have to fork over much for repairs. “They didn’t do any damage, except what it took to break in the doors,” he said.A busted door is about the only headache the owners of the Roaring Fork Tavern will be dealing with. “They busted in the door and came in, but they couldn’t find the light switch, so they must have got discouraged and left,” said the manager on duty yesterday afternoon.At Little Annie’s restaurant, the front door and the door to the liquor storage room were both broken, but no money was missing. “They were looking for cash but they didn’t find any,” said office manager Jane Knox.The burglars failed to get into Italian restaurant Cafe Amici, an employee told the Times. Management at the other four burglarized businesses – Shooters Saloon, Kenichi, The Cantina restaurant and Stage Three Theaters – was not available for comment.
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The city of Aspen is contributing $1 million to a CDOT project that will see concrete instead of asphalt at the roundabout into town.