Basalt cops were on to suspect before robbery
Police had already identified Hayden May as the prime suspect in the bungled burglary of a Basalt marijuana dispensary five days before he allegedly robbed the same store at knifepoint Sunday.
That’s according to court documents filed in Pitkin County District Court, including a second arrest warrant affidavit posted late Monday charging May with the Feb. 18 Roots Rx burglary, in which the culprit was caught on video crashing through the store’s ceiling after hiding out inside the building.
That means the 26-year-old May — who pleaded guilty to robbing an Aspen marijuana dispensary with a hammer in 2015 — now faces four felony charges of burglary, aggravated robbery, menacing and theft plus second-degree trespassing and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors.
On Monday in his first appearance in District Court, May and his public defender seemed to indicate he was innocent of the robbery charges. Lawyer Ashley Andrews said May had an alibi for the Sunday night robbery and called witness identification of him “shaky.”
According to court documents, a female Roots Rx employee who was ordered to open the store’s cash registers recognized May’s voice and eyes and called him by his first name because he is a regular customer there. May made purchases at the store four times in the eight days before the burglary, though none since, according to the second affidavit.
Basalt police, however, already identified May as the suspect in the Feb. 18 burglary at Roots Rx before the armed robbery Sunday, the documents state.
After a story about the burglary and a photo of the suspect ran in The Aspen Times, a man called Basalt police and said the photo looked like May, according to the affidavit. Another person who saw him near the dispensary bathrooms several hours before the Feb. 18 burglary also tentatively identified May as the suspect.
Police later searched May’s house and found the exact clothing the burglar was wearing, including a jacket covered in what appeared to be drywall and Sorel winter boots with multi-colored laces.
Surveillance video inside the store caught the burglary suspect entering the building three times between 6:45 p.m. and 7:25 p.m. After the last entrance, the man “hid behind a tall stack of retail boxes near the restroom until the employees closed and left the building around (8:15 p.m.),” according to the affidavit.
The man then stands on a counter, hoists himself up into the “attic,” crawls about 8 feet through the ceiling, then kicks out ceiling tiles and insulation sheets and drops on to a glass counter about 8:45 p.m., knocking two glass bongs to the floor, the document states.
That’s when alarms sound and he flees.
May is due back in court March 16.
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The first felony jury trial in Pitkin County since the pandemic started is set to begin Tuesday morning.