Suspects sought in Aspen crime spree |

Suspects sought in Aspen crime spree

Charles Agar
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado

ASPEN ” Aspen police are investigating an alleged booze theft and back-to-back joy rides that ended in two crashes on Red Mountain shortly before 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

There were no known injuries nor known witnesses in a chain of events police believe began with the theft of a black Honda Ridgeline and more than 20 bottles of alcohol from an Aspen home on Wednesday.

The case is still under investigation, but police are following leads on a few suspects in the vehicle and booze theft.

The vehicle went missing from an apartment complex along Lone Pine Road near Hunter Creek in the early morning hours Wednesday, police said.

At about 7 a.m., construction workers on their way to a job on Red Mountain called the sheriff’s department to report an abandoned vehicle, which police said had slammed into a rock embankment on West Reds Road.

When Aspen officers and county sheriff’s deputies arrived, the vehicle was still running, with the windshield wipers on, the radio blaring and the airbags deployed, according to police.

Pitkin County investigators reported backpacks holding a “fair amount” of alcohol found in the Honda Ridgeline.

Police traced the vehicle to the apartment complex on Lone Pine Road, and a visit there found a frustrated homeowner looking for his truck and about to call officials.

At about the same time, sheriff’s deputies received a report of a second stolen vehicle, this one a pickup truck from a home near the first crash on Red Mountain.

The thief allegedly started the pickup truck with keys left in the ignition, but didn’t get farther than the end of the driveway, where the pickup truck slammed into another vehicle.

There were no witnesses to either accident.

Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the Red Mountain crashes.

The thief could face motor vehicle theft charges as well as felony theft of the booze, which police estimated was valued at more than $1,000.

Police first fingerprinted, then returned the more than 20 bottles of alcohol to the Lone Pine homeowner on Wednesday afternoon. Investigators are still gathering evidence, including footprints from the scene.

There have been no arrests yet, but police said they hope to wrap the case up by Thursday.