Teens accused of stealing car | AspenTimes.com

Teens accused of stealing car

Eben Harrell

The popular video game “Grand Theft Auto” played out on a small scale at Aspen High School yesterday, when two teenage students allegedly stole a car from the school parking lot and drove it downvalley.The female students – age 14 and 15 – stole the car from the middle school parking lot yesterday morning, according to high school Principal Kendall Evans. The car was a 2001 or 2002 Subaru Baja registered to Lori Andrews of Snowmass Village.The 14-year-old suspect, who is too young to have a driver’s license, allegedly drove the car as far as Basalt before being apprehended by the Basalt police department.”One of our students left their keys in the vehicle while in class and the student just took it,” Evans said.The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it was investigating the theft but declined to offer details yesterday.”There was a stolen car. It was recovered. There are juvenile suspects. But nothing has been filed,” Pitkin County Juvenile Investigator Bruce Benjamin said.For a juvenile, the penalty for aggravated motor vehicle theft, a felony, is up to two years in a juvenile detention center. The 14-year-old suspect, who is a freshman at Aspen High School, also faces a potential charge of driving without a valid driver’s license, which is a traffic offense.”There will be repercussions,” Evans said. “[The students] face disciplinary issues at the high school as well as within the juvenile system.”Benjamin said he hopes the incident will instruct people not to leave keys in unattended vehicles.”This vehicle was taken because the keys were left in the car,” he said. “We live in a very safe community here and some people can get lax. Most of our auto thefts around here are because keys are left in a car. Sometimes that can be too much of a temptation and can even lead to tragedy if it’s a young person or a drunk person who steals the car.”Benjamin confirmed that the car was recovered undamaged.Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is eharrell@aspentimes.com