Cops: Woman tried to steal from five Aspen stores
Police arrested a 44-year-old Aspen woman last weekend who allegedly stole or tried to steal more than $2,000 worth of merchandise from five different downtown stores, according to court documents.
Melony Verlander was charged with felony theft and concealment of goods after a police officer caught her with items from four stores that still had price tags and security alarm tags on them, according to a police report filed in Aspen District Court.
Police first received a report about Verlander on July 2, when an employee of D&E/Four Mountain Sports on Durant Avenue called to report a shoplifter, the report states. The employee said a woman later identified as Verlander put items into her bag without paying for them, then ripped security tags off other items, which damaged them, according to the report.
Verlander left the store but returned later and said she wanted to buy some items. The employee, however, told Verlander she would have to buy all the items that were damaged when she ripped off security tags, the report states.
“(Verlander) became very irate and started yelling at (the employee) stating that, ‘You better have a good lawyer,’ and accusing them of defamation of character,” according to the report.
Police received video from D&E showing Verlander ripping off the security tags, the report states. She allegedly attempted to steal $494 worth of items from the store, according to the police report.
The next day, police received another call of a shoplifter, this time at Pitkin County Dry Goods on Cooper Avenue. The same officer who responded to D&E “immediately recognized” Verlander from that store’s surveillance video when he contacted her near the Aspen Art Museum, the report states.
The officer arrested her after finding a number of items with tags still on them, while Verlander had no receipts.
Those items included $91 worth of merchandise from Carl’s Pharmacy, an $850 blanket from Georgia Brown and merchandise from Free People, according to the police report.
In addition, Verlander allegedly tried to steal $620 worth of items from Pitkin County Dry Goods, the report states.
While police couldn’t determine the amount of stolen goods from Free People, the other items added up to $2,057, the report states.
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Interstate 70 is more than 60 miles south of Craig across rugged terrain. But when the east-west thoroughfare that bisects the state is shut down due to mudslides in Glenwood Canyon, the impact is felt close to home.