‘Sophisticated’ juveniles suspected in Basalt liquor store burglaries | AspenTimes.com

‘Sophisticated’ juveniles suspected in Basalt liquor store burglaries

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” Basalt police believe they have cracked the case of the whiskey bandits.

Three juveniles will probably face charges for the burglaries earlier this winter of Willits Wine and Spirits, according to Sgt. Stu Curry. The results of an investigation have been turned over to the district attorney’s office for a decision on how to proceed, he said.

That investigation indicated that the juveniles broke windows on two different occasions when the liquor store was closed. They reached in and allegedly stole bottles of whiskey on both occasions.

“These kids are really pretty sophisticated,” Curry said. In one of the incidents, one of the trio was posted in Crown Mountain Park to spy on the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office substation. When the lookout saw that the only deputy on duty was in the office, he used a walkie-talkie to alert his buddies that the deputy wasn’t roaming on patrol, Curry said.

In a second burglary, the trio struck while two Basalt cops and a deputy had a vehicle pulled over and were occupied, Curry said.

A break in the investigation came when an Eagle County Sheriff’s Office investigator was given information about the Willits burglaries. The information was passed on to Basalt police officer Brian Lemke, who questioned one of the suspects. The juvenile confessed and provided information about the burglaries, Curry said.

The police department recommended that charges be pursued against two of the suspects for the actual burglaries. The possible charges are second-degree burglary, criminal mischief, theft and underage possession of alcohol, Curry said. The third juvenile could face charges as an accomplice, depending on how on the district attorney’s office views the case.

All three suspects are males, ages 16 and 17. Curry said he believed two of them are juniors at Basalt High School, and one attends Bridges High School.

One of the suspects was allegedly involved in a different incident with an Eagle County deputy on Tuesday. A deputy spotted the youth near a bus stop in the Blue Lake subdivision in El Jebel and attempted to apprehend him on a warrant out of Pitkin County for failure to appear in court on charges of underage possession of alcohol. The youth ran, police said, and the deputy pursued on foot.

After a nine-minute chase, the deputy zapped the youth with a stun gun to subdue him.

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