Same Aspen parking spot nabs alleged bike thief

Staff report
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Aspen police arrested a man Wednesday who was caught on video three days earlier allegedly stealing two high-end mountain bikes, according to court documents.

David Hietapelto, 39, of Glenwood Springs was charged with felony theft between $5,000 and $20,000 as well as possession of methamphetamine and heroin, which he did not tell jail deputies about so he also was charged with introducing contraband into a jail.

Hietapelto and another man were caught on video Sunday at 1:45 a.m. in possession of a Yeti bike valued at $6,000 and a Trek valued at $5,000, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court. The video, taken from behind Meat and Cheese restaurant, showed the two men loading the bikes into a red GMC Yukon with a clearly identifiable license plate.

On Wednesday, police spotted the same truck parked in the same parking area and asked an Aspen police officer to go over and watch the truck, the affidavit states.

As the officer stood in the alley, Hietapelto went to the truck to retrieve tools from the back.

“Hietapelto noticed me, became visibly nervous and asked me what I was doing,” Office Ian MacAyeal wrote in the affidavit. “I simply told him I was waiting for someone.”

The officer then received a still photo from the Sunday video and recognized Hietapelto as the same man and arrested him.

While being booked into the jail, Hietapelto told deputies he didn’t have any controlled substances on him, according to the document. A baggy containing what Hietapelto later identified as heroin and methamphetamine was found in his wallet.