Stealing trust |

Stealing trust

Last Monday night July 21, I became the victim of a terrible crime, the likes of which I’ve bragged would never happen in Aspen, while camping in Lincoln Creek. I had been living in my tent for the past 6 weeks, in order to save enough money for an apartment. Working as a cook in Aspen, I had to leave my campsite to drive to town, returning back sometimes late at night. In fact, Monday night, I worked so late that I spent the night on a friend’s couch in Aspen. When I returned to my campsite in Lincoln Creek the following morning, my entire tent and everything in it was gone. When I reported this to the ranger station, I was informed that my incident was the first time ever that someone had their things stolen in Lincoln Creek. After speaking with people who had been camping in the area Monday night, several people said that a loud group of “kids” had been around my campsite. I also found a tee-shirt that said “Aspen Junior Hockey League” with a list of names on it, near where my tent had been.

I’m distraught over what happened for several reasons. Most importantly, my HOME was stolen, including all of the gear inside of it. As somebody who has always worked very hard for everything I own, having these things stolen was a terrible violation. In addition, I had spent a lot of money on those things and had an emotional attachment to the gear that I had so many times taken into the wilderness on backpacking trips. And finally, I have enjoyed living and working in Aspen, on and off, for the past six years. I have bragged to everyone I know of how trustworthy the residents of Aspen are and how safe the town is. I feel let-down.

If anyone reading this has any information on who might have done this, please contact me at (303) 819-2599 or e-mail me at

The gear stolen was a blue and black “Roadrunner II” North Face two-man tent, a blue and down Mountain Hardware sleeping bag, titanium cookware and a butane stove, a Thermarest, and various Burton and Patagonia clothing. If anyone reading this has my gear, you can return it, no questions asked, to the ranger station on the Main Street S-curve. There is a $100 reward for the recovery of my sleeping bag and tent.

Ryan Vallejo


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