Woman’s Porsche license plate aids in Aspen shoplifting arrest
Authorities arrested a part-time Woody Creek resident Tuesday night on suspicion of shoplifting from a high-end Aspen clothing store more than two years ago.
Pitkin County Deputy Ryan Turner apprehended Jillian Epstein White, 59, at 6:45 p.m. at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport on an Aspen Police Department warrant. White was released from jail at approximately 9:45 a.m. Wednesday after posting $2,500 bail, a jail official said.
Police allege that White shoplifted from Brunello Cucinelli on April 16, 2013. That’s when she allegedly swiped a brown, suede pullover, with a retail value of $4,145, according to an arrest affidavit.
Police obtained the store’s video footage of the woman, but the case went unsolved.
But March 11, White allegedly returned to the store, this time asking a Brunello Cucinelli employee to provide her a bag for a leather coat she had with her. The employee, who was at the store during the April 2013 alleged shoplifting incident, recognized White as the person she believed stole the pullover, the affidavit says.
“(The employee) said (White) used the same older tattered leather coat on April 16, 2013 and March 11, 2014 as a prop to distract employees,” says the affidavit, written by Police Officer Kirk Wheatley.
The employee ordered White to leave the store, and Brunello Cucinelli workers followed her to her Porsche SUV and recorded its license plate number, the affidavit says.
Police later traced the license plate number to White’s name. They then used booking photos from previous arrests for White and matched it to the surveillance video. White was arrested in Aspen on another shoplifting charge in December 2013, and driving while ability impaired in Pitkin County in January 2014, and driving under restraint in Pitkin County in January 2015, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.
Aspen attorney Richie Cummins, who represented White in the December 2013 shoplifting incident, said he had not been contacted by her regarding this week’s arrest.
Coincidentally, a previous case of White’s was up for review in Aspen Municipal Court on Wednesday for the December 2013 shoplifting arrest from Bloomingbirds. White pleaded not guilty in the Bloomingbirds case. The matter had been set for trial, but parties agreed to a deferred prosecution last July.
Calls to White’s cellphone and Woody Creek home phone were not answered Wednesday, and her voice-mailboxes were full.
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The alleged attack Tuesday on a woman walking alone in Aspen’s East End by a man she didn’t know is rare in this small mountain town, and police are acting accordingly.