Wandering woman popped on burglary suspicion in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Wandering woman popped on burglary suspicion in Aspen

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times
Brittany Lynn Storms

Aspen police say a Grand Junction-area woman tried to burglarize an upscale home Sunday.

Brittany Lynn Storms, 18, was advised of felony charges of first-degree trespassing, second-degree burglary and criminal impersonation Monday in Pitkin County District Court, where Judge Gail Nichols set her bond at $10,000.

Police arrested Storms after a resident of a Shady Lane home, which the Pitkin County Assessor’s Office values at $11 million, reported that a young woman who was “out of it on drugs” had entered her home.

The homeowner said when she and her husband returned home, they noticed the front door open and a person walking out of the house. The woman confronted the person and accused her of stealing, but she said she was just “looking around,” according to an arrest affidavit.

The suspect then left the home and took a walk on the nearby Rio Grande Trail, the affidavit says. In the meantime, the homeowner called police.

Police later found the suspect, who initially identified herself as “Brooke Gunnison.” She told authorities that she entered the house because “she was fascinated with the size of the all-glass front door of the residence and opened it,” the affidavit says.

Police found no record of the suspect’s name with the state, prompting her to provide her real identity. Storms told authorities she made up the name because she has a warrant for her arrest in Mesa County, the affidavit says.

Storms has a history of drug and theft arrests in Mesa County. She was not found, however, to have taken anything from the Shady Lane home. Even so, police officer Ian MacAyeal wrote in the affidavit that “based on my training and experience, people with extensive criminal histories of theft and drug abuse frequently burglarize homes during daytime hours thinking the occupants are away. I believe Storms was inside (the) home in an attempt to commit a crime therein, specifically theft. Had (the homeowners) not arrived home soon after Storms entered the home, I believe such a crime would have been committed.”

At the advisement hearing, public defender Sara Steele expressed doubt that authorities had enough evidence to charge Storms with burglary.

“I would certainly question whether there was probable cause that Ms. Storms had intended to burglarize this residence,” she said.

Prosecutor Andrea Bryan, however, said it was a “foiled attempt to burglarize a home.”

She added, “In this case, this was a residence that was way out of the way, she didn’t know the people and she didn’t have a reason to be there.”

Storms is due back in court June 1.