Teenager arrested on suspicion of theft

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

A teenager who was arrested by Aspen police in late November on felony charges related to a fraudulent check-cashing operation was taken into custody again on Monday after she allegedly stole $253 worth of items from the Thrift Shop of Aspen.

Elizabeth Dominguez, 18, who also goes by Daniela Elizabeth Jaramillo-Dominguez, appeared before Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols Tuesday afternoon during an advisement hearing.

Nichols told Dominguez that she faces a misdemeanor theft charge, and that in the near future she could face a felony charge of violating the terms of the personal-recognizance bond that the judge set in mid-December. The “PR bond,” as it is commonly called, gave Dominguez a no-cost release from the Pitkin County Jail after she spent more than two weeks there.

Nichols said she could not find probable cause to move forward on the police department’s listing of a felony charge for violating bond conditions, but set Dominguez’ bond on the misdemeanor theft arrest at $2,500 at the request of Aspen prosecutor Andrea Bryan. Bryan said her office is still in the process of gathering information from police that could show that Dominguez violated terms of her release last month. A misdemeanor arrest for theft was not enough to trigger the bond violation, Nichols said.

Bryan said after the court proceeding that police may have evidence that Dominguez was in the thrift store with Elsa Eva Murillo-Ramirez, 40. If so, that could spark the bond violation, since Nichols on Dec. 16 ordered Dominguez not to have any contact with Murillo-Ramirez. The two women formerly were roommates in Carbondale, and both were implicated in the November check-cashing scheme in which checks allegedly were stolen from Murillo-Ramirez’ former employer, forged and then cashed at four separate Alpine Bank locations in the Roaring Fork Valley, netting them $6,000, according to police.

Both women face felony charges related to the alleged Nov. 21 check-cashing spree, but the charges against Murillo-Ramirez are considered more serious. As someone who has been convicted of five felonies in the past, she faces additional charges in the “habitual criminal” category, court records show.

An affidavit of warrantless arrest written by Aspen policeman Casey Ward states that he responded Monday at 2:34 p.m. to a dispatcher’s call of a “theft in progress” at the thrift store.

He met a thrift shop employee and Dominguez near the Local’s Corner store, which is near the thrift store. The employee told Ward that Dominguez had stolen several items.

Dominguez “pulled a suitcase out from in front of a parked car and returned it to (the employee),” Ward wrote. Inside the suitcase, the affidavit states, were 37 shirts, five pairs of jeans, one bathrobe, two pairs of ski pants, one belt and one dress. The suitcase also belonged to the thrift store.

Dominguez’ next court appearance will be Feb. 10.