Plea bargain sends Basalt robber to prison for 6 years |

Plea bargain sends Basalt robber to prison for 6 years

Aspen Times Staff Report

A man who was arrested for the armed robbery of Clark’s Market in Basalt last year reached a plea bargain recently that sent him to prison for six years, according to authorities.

Joseph Owens pleaded guilty Oct. 22 to robbery, according to the Eagle County District Attorney’s office. In return, the prosecutor didn’t pursue a stiffer sentence for use of a weapon.

Owens, 26, was accused of robbing the Basalt grocery store on Dec. 18, 2001. He came to the store as it was closing at 10 p.m. and ordered a female clerk to retrieve money from a safe.

The robber was flashing a pistol that later turned out to be a BB gun. Owens was charged with armed robbery because it wasn’t apparent what type of weapon he had.

Owens escaped with $3,242. No employees were injured in the robbery, and no customers were in the store. He fled on foot and eluded a police dragnet.

Owens was identified by Basalt police as the suspect after store employees said they thought they recognized him. Owens worked at the grocery store from May to October 2001.

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At the request of Basalt authorities, police in Parachute tried to arrest Owens at an apartment in that town on Dec. 20, but he escaped by jumping through the glass of a second-story window.

Basalt investigators received a tip the following month that Owens might be in California. He was found and arrested by police in Riverside.

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