Van stolen from Snowmass didn’t get far |

Van stolen from Snowmass didn’t get far

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

A Snowmass man believed to have stolen a vehicle in the village Tuesday night didn’t make it very far — he was booked into Garfield County Jail after getting pulled over for speeding and arrested for driving under the influence, among other charges.

The van, owned by Summit Construction, was reported missing from Lot 4 early Wednesday morning and was believed to be stolen after officers could not locate the vehicle or its keys. But Snowmass police learned Thursday that the van had been impounded in Garfield County and that the driver, identified as Walter Grau, 35, was being detained there, Chief Brian Olson said.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is holding Grau on charges of driving under the influence, speeding, driving without a license, failure to use turn signals and an open marijuana container in the vehicle.

On Thursday, Olson said he wasn’t sure whether his department would pursue a charge for the theft of the vehicle, firstly because he wasn’t sure the incident met the standards for aggravated motor vehicle theft. Those standards include the length of time a vehicle is gone for, and it’s not clear that Grau intended to take the car for more than 24 hours, Olson said.

“His trip got interrupted through some other bad choices,” Olson said.

The 2005 vehicle once belonged to Village Shuttle, the town of Snowmass Village’s public transportation system. Mak Keeling, owner of Summit Construction, said he was leasing the van to a subcontractor and did not know Grau personally.