Gunfire claims Aspen radar sign
The Aspen Times
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office uses its radar signs to deter motorists from speeding along rural roads. One of the signs apparently inspired someone to shoot it instead.
On Thursday morning, as Deputy Adam Crider inspected one of the Sheriff’s Office’s sign on Owl Creek Road, he discovered that it wasn’t working. The reason: Someone had taken target practice on it.
“Adam saw a bullet hole coming out of it,” said Alex Burchetta, director of operations for the Sheriff’s Office. “The bullet came through the front.”
No bullet or casing was found, he said. He said it appeared that one shot was fired at the sign, which was enough to make it inoperable.
The signs aren’t cheap, costing between $5,000 and $8,000, Burchetta noted. There are no leads in the investigation so far, he said. The offense would be treated as criminal mischief, which is a misdemeanor, Burchetta said. The sign was on the eastbound side of Owl Creek Road, across from the airport.
“People going out and shooting paintballs at a street sign is one thing,” Burchetta said. “But this is an expensive piece of property.”
The signs have been an effective way to keep motorists in check, Burchetta said. The county had two radar signs until Thursday.
“It’s just another tool we used to educate the public on how fast they’re going,” he said.
He said there’s no telling when the sign was shot.
“It could have happened two weeks ago; it could have happened last night,” he said.
The Sheriff’s Office plans to replace the sign.
Tenants at the city’s oldest deed-restricted housing complex, Centennial Apartments, faced rent hikes as high as 30% in January that sent city, county, and APCHA officials into closed-door meetings with the relatively new landlord, Birge & Held.