Teen suspect is back in jail
Anthony Rizzuto, already facing charges in connection with the Sept. 20 burglary of a Twining Flats home, was jailed Thursday and charged with taking part in an armed robbery in early August.
Rizzuto, 19, was arrested at his home at the W/J Ranch affordable housing complex, police said, on charges that he was one of two local teen-agers who rushed into the office of the Aspen Alps on Aug. 6 and robbed the office clerk at gunpoint.
Police said Rizzuto was unaware that an arrest warrant had been issued against him. He was taken to the Pitkin County Jail and held in lieu of $250,000 in bail.
According to Aspen police investigator Glenn Schaffer, Rizzuto and Thomas Colver entered the office at the Aspen Alps at around 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 6, and forced the sole clerk on duty to hand over the money in two cash drawers.
One of the cash drawers, according to an affidavit filed in court on Thursday, was located in a safe out of sight from the general public. And according to the clerk, Renee Ryan, “The suspect seemed to know exactly where the safe was located.” Her statement is contained in Rizzuto’s arrest affidavit.
Ryan told police that the two men were dressed in black, wearing black, knit caps and white scarves over their faces, and armed with at least one handgun. They came through the lobby and into the office where she was on duty alone that night. Another employee had left only minutes earlier.
Drawing a gun from a pocket, one of the robbers pointed it at Ryan and told her, “Give me all your fucking money,” according to documents on file in the court clerk’s office.
He then motioned Ryan to the safe and told her to open it. She was only able to open the top section of the safe, which contained a cash drawer that the robbers emptied. According to the affidavit, when Ryan said she did not have the combination to the main section of the safe, one robber said, “You better tell me now or I’ll shoot your head off.”
She then pointed out another cash drawer, which she had brought in from the lobby desk shortly before, and one of the robbers emptied that drawer as well.
The two then ran out of the office, according to court documents, making off with $1,066.
Police began investigating similarities between the Alps robbery and a robbery Aug. 5 at Clark’s Market in Aspen, as well as an Aug. 19 robbery at The Village Market in Snowmass Village.
It was during interviews with suspects in the Clark’s and Village Market holdups that investigators first heard that Colver and Rizzuto had allegedly robbed the Alps office. According to statements from Clark’s robbery suspect Jacob Richards and Village Market suspect William “Wade” Hammond, the pistol used in the Alps robbery was the same gun used in the Clark’s robbery.
Rizzuto turned himself into authorities Oct. 3 to face charges that he and a group of local teens broke into a house in the Twining Flats neighborhood, and made off with several shotguns and a Range Rover that belonged to the owner.
He was released from jail Nov. 2 after arranging for payment of his $25,000 bond, but is still facing five felony charges stemming from the Twining Flats case.
At a hearing in October, Judge J.E. DeVilbiss told Rizzuto that if he is convicted on all counts, and sentenced to the maximum on all counts, he could be facing up to 98 years in prison and fines “in the millions” of dollars.
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