Woman with history of theft arrested again

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times

A 61-year-old Woody Creek woman who pleaded guilty to theft earlier this year after police tracked her down via her Porsche license plate was arrested again for theft Tuesday, according to court documents.

Jillian Epstein White, who served 21 days in jail after entering the guilty plea, allegedly disputed a New Year’s Eve credit card bill from a local restaurant, though several party-goers and restaurant staff members insisted she was there, according to a police report filed in District Court.

Aspen police first heard about the incident Feb. 10, when the owner of The Monarch restaurant called to report that White had dinner with a large party at the restaurant on New Year’s Eve. White’s share of the bill was $291.20, which she paid with her American Express card, the report states.

“(The owner) said that White was memorable to the staff due to her erratic and burdensome behavior toward the staff as well as her obvious level of intoxication,” according to the report.

In January, the owner was notified by American Express that White disputed the charge, saying she wasn’t at the restaurant at all on New Year’s Eve, and the credit card company granted her request, the report states.

The owner then contacted other members of the New Year’s Eve dinner party who told her “that White had attempted the same scam at another Aspen establishment two days later,” according to the report.

Two members of the restaurant staff submitted witness statements saying White was indeed at the restaurant on New Year’s Eve. Another picked her photo out of a lineup as the one of those present, the report states.

Finally, the woman who threw the dinner party told police that White was her guest at The Monarch on New Year’s Eve.

“She said that due to White’s drunken, embarrassing behavior at the Monarch, (she) called a taxi and had White ‘escorted out,’” according to the police report. “(The woman) said that she later came to learn from friends that White was a ‘con artist.’”

White was arrested for felony theft in April 2015 after an employee at a downtown clothing store recognized her as the person who stole a suede pullover valued at $4,145 from the store two years earlier. The employee ordered White to leave the store, while another employee followed her to her Porsche SUV and recorded the license plate.

Police used the plate number and booking photos from White’s three previous Aspen-area arrests to track her down and later arrest her at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.

White accepted a plea deal in January, in which she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft in that case and was later sentenced to the 21 days in jail and two years of probation.

Andrea Bryan, deputy district attorney, said Thursday that because the alleged New Year’s Eve credit card theft occurred before White was put on probation, it won’t count as a probation violation.

White was arrested in 2006 for allegedly stealing patio furniture, Bryan said. In June 2008, she allegedly stole two pairs of sunglasses valued at $434 from the Sunglass Hut in Aspen, according to court documents. In May 2013, White admitted to stealing two cans of coconut water from Roxy’s Market at the Aspen Business Center, documents state.

Then in January 2015, White was caught on surveillance video at the St. Regis Hotel stealing a black faux leather coat. And, finally, just days before she was arrested for the Brunello Cucinelli theft nearly a year ago, New York City police arrested her for allegedly stealing a Givenchy purse, Bryan has said.

“There’s very significant kleptomania she’s dealing with,” Bryan said at White’s March sentencing.

White’s attorney at the sentencing blamed her problems on a traumatic brain injury, mental health-issues and loneliness that all came to a head after White turned 49 years old.