Aspen police arrest two people on unrelated theft charges |

Aspen police arrest two people on unrelated theft charges

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

Aspen police arrested two people Friday following investigations into separate and unrelated theft incidents.

Taylor S. Colton, 44 — who has a lengthy local arrest record that includes felonies, misdemeanors, probation violations and missed court appearances — was contacted by Aspen police investigating a report of a man who was intoxicated, police supervisor Mike Tracey said Saturday.

When they found the man, they recognized him as Colton, who already was under investigation on suspicion of using someone’s credit card without authorization to make purchases. Colton allegedly bought a hat, a jacket and some groceries with the card, having forged another person’s name during the transaction, Tracey said.

Colton was in possession of the items he purchased under false pretenses when police found him, the supervisor said. He faces three felony charges: fraud, forgery and identity theft. As of Saturday evening, he was being held at the Pitkin County Jail under $7,500 bond.

No other details surrounding the charges were available Saturday.

In October, Colton was given two additional years of probation after pleading guilty to violating his probation that stemmed from a 2012 conviction on a felony trespassing charge. The October sentence handed down by District Judge Gail Nichols kept Colton out of jail but required that he participate in the 9th Judicial District’s Wellness Program, which is designed to put nonviolent individuals with mental-health issues on the right track after they have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, felonies or both.

In the program, a committee keeps close tabs on an offender, ensuring that they take their medications, seek employment, refrain from using drugs and alcohol, interact socially in a positive manner, maintain a stable residence and similar behaviors.

Whether Colton was still active in the program as of Saturday was not known.

His legal troubles in the area date back to 2010, when Snowmass Village police arrested him on weapons and burglary charges. That same year, Aspen police arrested him for trespassing.

In spring 2011, he announced through social media his plans to produce 20,000 copies of “Aspen Moxie,” a new, local magazine. But in the fall of that year, Aspen business owners and managers who bought advertising complained to The Aspen Times that Colton never delivered on the product.

He was never charged in relation to the accusation that he bilked local businesses, but later in the year, Aspen police arrested him on suspicion of two felony counts of trespassing and burglary. A year later, he received the two-year deferred judgment on the trespassing charge.

In mid-2013, he sent an email to The Aspen Times, apologizing to the community for his actions, which he said stemmed from alcoholism.

Later in 2013, Colton pleaded guilty in Garfield County Court to harassment following an incident involving telephone threats. A few months later, the local probation office filed a complaint alleging numerous probation violations.

In August, he was arrested and brought to the Pitkin County Jail because of another alleged probation violation. An arrest warrant had been issued because he failed to appear in court during the summer.

Over the past few years, during his court appearances while in custody, Colton has continually requested to be released on a personal-recognizance bond, saying that his many start-up businesses would suffer without his attention.


Also Friday, Aspen police arrested Brooke E. Haring, 32, of Basalt. She was accused of misdemeanor theft following an investigation into missing items that belonged to an acquaintance. She posted $750 bond and was released Friday evening, according to the jail.

Haring also was arrested early in the week following allegations that she stole three expensive purses made of python skin from the downtown Aspen store where she worked last year. During her advisement hearing Wednesday, Nichols set her bond at $4,000 but told Haring that she also had a separate $750 bond stemming from her failure to appear in court for a traffic case.

Haring posted bond and was released, only to be arrested again Friday in the unrelated case.

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