‘Vacant’ Snowmass condo yields two transients
Two local transients were arrested Saturday in Snowmass Village after being found in a condominium that was supposed to be vacant, according to a police report.
Snowmass Village police officers later found a trash bag full of brand-new clothing and leather coats inside the condo, according to the report filed in District Court.
Police arrested Benjamin Strauss, 36, and Michael Rainer Keefe, 22, and charged each with felony trespassing.
The property manager at the Interlude Condos in Snowmass Village told police he saw Strauss smoking outside of a unit that was supposed to be vacant at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday, the report states. He told Strauss smoking wasn’t allowed on the property, and Strauss “took off” after turning the corner, the report states.
The property manager then looked inside the unit and saw personal items and said he believed another person was inside. He also apparently saw Strauss come out of the unit at some point, the report states.
Strauss told officers the other occupant was a man he knew as “Rainer,” who had a key to the unit. As the officer was talking to Strauss, another officer spotted Keefe, who had climbed down from the second story and was about to jump to the ground, according to the report.
Keefe was “wearing a ski suit with goggles and a mask with his hood up,” the report states. “Keefe was being uncooperative and said he did nothing wrong.”
Neither man would tell police the identity of a third man seen running from the condo, according to the report.
The large trash bag inside the unit contained brand new ski clothing and “fur-lined leather coats with tags still in place on one coat” as well as items of mail in the bottom with Keefe’s name on them, the report states.
Aspen police also arrested Keefe on Feb. 11 and charged him with disturbing the peace, according to police records.
Fully aware he was in the midst of the mountain bike race of his life, Aspen’s John Gaston said he “tried to not think too far ahead” to prevent the magnitude of the moment from getting to him. He eventually finished runner-up in the iconic race.
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