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Basalt police release robber’s image

Basalt Police released this surveillance camera image of the man who robbed Jimbo's Wine and Liquors Friday night. The ski jacket has distinctive triangular stitching.
Basalt Police Department

BASALT ARMED ROBBERIES 2003-15

Movieland workers February 2003

Jimbo’s Liquor December 2003

7-Eleven store December 2009

Clark’s Market January 2010

Vectra Bank March, June 2012

Home invasion November 2012

El Jebel Liquors March 2014*

Jimbo’s Wine & Liquor January 2015

* Unincorporated Eagle County

Basalt police released images Monday of the man who robbed Jimbo’s Wine and Liquors in Basalt on Friday night while brandishing a knife.

The man remains at large after fleeing on foot with about $1,400. Basalt Police Chief Greg Knott said he hopes someone will recognize the man’s clothing from an image from the store’s surveillance system and provide police with a lead. The robber concealed himself with a white stocking hat and black ski mask pulled around his face. He wore a white ski jacket that has distinctive triangular stitching that is visible in one of the images, Knott said.

The store clerk described the man as 5 feet 8 inches tall with a medium build.



In addition to the surveillance-video images from the liquor store, police also gleaned some information from the camera outside Alpine Bank. One camera captured the man walking through the bank’s back parking lot toward the liquor store shortly before the robbery at 9:50 p.m. A different camera showed the man walking east down the sidewalk on Midland Avenue.

Audio on the liquor store’s surveillance system suggests the robber was a white male, Knott said. The man was in the store for a “very short period of time,” Knott said. He declined to disclose what the robber said to the lone clerk on duty at the time or the size of the knife. The clerk was unharmed. A manager, who wasn’t working at the time, told The Aspen Times that all the employees were shaken up by the incident.



“It was a scary thing that occurred,” Knott said.

The Basalt Police Department want anyone with information to call the department at 970-927-4316 or email the police chief at greg.knott@basaltpolice.com.

Friday night’s incident was at least the ninth armed robbery in the midvalley in 12 years. All but one of the incidents were in Basalt.

This was the second time Jimbo’s was hit by an armed robber. A man carrying a semi-automatic handgun entered the liquor store at 10 p.m. Dec. 6, 2003, and demanded money from the male clerk, who was working alone. The robber escaped on foot. The owners offered a $5,000 reward for information but no arrest was made. The clerk was unharmed.

Earlier that year, on Feb. 8, 2003, two armed assailants robbed two employees from Movieland as they made a night deposit at a nearby Vectra Bank. The workers weren’t injured.

Vectra Bank itself was victimized by an armed robber twice in three months in 2012. Jeremy Harmon pleaded guilty to a single charge of felony robbery, though he took responsibility for four bank heists in the valley.

Harmon robbed Vectra Bank in Basalt on March 2 and June 22, 2012. The same clerk was working both days. The robber handed her a note demanding money but no weapon was displayed.

Harmon also admitted to the armed robbery of banks in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. At the time, he was facing eviction from his home if he didn’t pay his bills.

No one was injured in the four robberies. Harmon was sentenced in January 2013 to six years in state prison, but that was suspended and replaced with a six-year sentence to a community correction facility with strict rules in Durango. He was able to continue working and ordered to pay $3,750 in restitution.

A knife was used in the robbery of a manager at the Basalt 7-Eleven who was working alone early in the morning of Dec. 19, 2009. Edras Balvino Gonzales-Osorto, a Basalt resident who was then 25 years old, came into the store to buy a pack of cigarettes, departed, then came back in saying he needed a soda. He grabbed the female clerk as she was walking behind the counter and put a knife to her neck, according to police. He nabbed the cash from the drawer and tried to run out a back door. The manager told him she couldn’t open that door, so he grabbed her and made his way to the front door. She broke his grip, locked herself in the bathroom and called 911.

Basalt police released an image of the robber taken from a surveillance camera. On New Year’s Eve that year, the victim spotted the alleged robber at a party and had a friend call 911. He was arrested without incident.

Gonzales-Osorto pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

A former employee, who didn’t conceal his identity well enough to fool a fellow colleague, robbed Clark’s Market in Basalt on Jan. 24, 2010. Jonas Leon Jr., known as Junior, walked into the grocery store on a Sunday evening and demanded money from a clerk. She didn’t take the incident seriously because she recognized Leon, who had worked there less than two years previously.

He came around the counter and pointed a handgun at her, then took money from the register. Two other employees in the store recognized Leon even though he wore what police described as a beanie and a yellow scarf over his face.

Leon was arrested at his home about two blocks from Clark’s. He pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and felony menacing. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

Four men from western Colorado were eventually arrested and sentenced to various lengths in prison for a Nov. 28, 2012, home invasion in Basalt. The female homeowner was robbed at gunpoint. The men claimed they intended to burglarize the house and were caught off guard when the woman emerged from a bathroom. She was physically unharmed but traumatized by the robbery.

The most recent armed robbery prior to Friday night was at El Jebel Liquors on March 10. Rodrigo Ivan Aguillar, an El Jebel resident who was then 17 years old, robbed the lone clerk with a handgun and butcher knife, police said. During the robbery, he held the gun within a foot of the female clerk’s face and pulled the trigger. The gun clicked but didn’t fire. Investigators eventually discovered it was a BB gun, but that wasn’t evident during the robbery.

Images from video surveillance at the El Jebel Plaza led to a tip that resulted in the man’s arrest. Eagle County Sheriff’s Office also received a report about a check he had stolen.

Aguilar pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to six years in the youth-offender division of the state prison system.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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