`Things like this don’t happen here’ a common refrain around Snowmass
For many Snowmass Village residents and business owners, Thursday night’s robbery did not come as shock. They may, however, think twice about not locking their homes and cars in a place where “things like this just don’t happen.”The day after an armed robbery at Village Market, patrons and proprietors of the various stores and restaurants at the Snowmass Center were abuzz about the incident.Given the recent series of robberies in Aspen, Thursday’s crime scene wasn’t a complete surprise. But a common theme expressed was disappointment that one of the primary reasons they came to Snowmass was encroached upon.You expect armed robberies in cities, not Snowmass, was the oft-repeated sentiment. We came here to get away from crime.”I almost feel citified,” said Snowmass Councilman Kevin Costello, as he walked out of Village Market Friday. “I’ve been here 29 years and have only heard of this happening one other time.””Snowmass is becoming more and more like a city,” said Mike Shand, a two-year resident of the town. “So you do have to predict that something like this could happen. … But still, I think it was a single, isolated incident.”In a town where it’s not uncommon for people to leave their doors unlocked, business owners and residents are wondering if times are changing.”This doesn’t make me feel any different [about living in Snowmass,] but I may start locking my front door, which is something I rarely do,” said one 10-year resident.Surrounding business owners said the robbery will probably prompt some changes in security procedures, such as making more frequent deposits or making sure more than one person closes up for the night.”We’ll definitely be more cautious,” said Barbara Bakios-Wickes, owner of Sundance Drugs & Liquor, which is located next to the Village Market.At the scene of the crime, “things will change,” said Greg Miller, the Village Market manager on duty Friday. Miller, who was the employee injured during Thursday’s incident, was back on the job the next day. He said he was treated and released from the hospital Thursday night.”It was scary,” Miller but declined to give any more details until after a police investigation is completed.One business owner, however, felt more angry than anything else that the a few individuals could make people feel anxious about being in town. Having grown up in a big city, he came to Snowmass to get away from that fear.”I refuse to be controlled by some people who can’t get by except by stealing,” said the nearby proprietor, whose business will run as usual.A second-homeowner, hailing from Detroit, remarked that no town is immune from crime.”It’s unfortunate, that’s all,” said the part-time resident who preferred not to be named. “But life goes on. There’s not a place in this world where crime doesn’t happen.”Well, Snowmass used to be such a place, said Councilman Kevin Costello. And it will be again or at least it will be a place where people won’t see the town as an easy target.”They might have caught some people off guard, but it won’t happen again,” Costello said.
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