Would-be thief can’t crack safe in Wienerstube | AspenTimes.com

Would-be thief can’t crack safe in Wienerstube

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The Wienerstube restaurant was broken into late Monday night, and police say the case is similar to a break-in in Aspen two weeks ago.

The burglar unsuccessfully tried to pry open a restaurant safe. The crime mirrors an attempt to get inside the office safe of the Fasching House on Jan. 7.

According to Aspen Police Detective Chris Womack, the restaurant break-in was reported at 6 a.m. Tuesday, as the first cooks were getting to work. Womack said how the culprit entered the restaurant is still under investigation, as is when the crime happened.

“The restaurant closes for the day at 4:30 p.m., so it’s hard to say when this happened,” he said. “He tried banging, chiseling and tearing apart the front door of the safe and was unsuccessful.”

Womack said the burglar may have spent up to an hour trying to get into the safe with a crowbar, working on hinges and pulling off the dial.

In the early morning of Jan. 8, five homes, two businesses and two cars were burglarized in Aspen. Womack said that case remains under investigation. The string of burglaries began at the Fasching House around midnight, when a safe was tampered with but not opened.

Burglars then broke into the Frias Property Management office on Durant Street, taking keys to various residences managed by the company.

With the keys, the burglar entered at least three condominiums managed by the company, taking cash and credit cards before entering two unlocked homes in the West End. In some cases, police say the burglars entered rooms where people were sleeping to get to wallets and purses.

Womack said no more than $500 in cash was taken during that burglary spree. He said he doesn’t feel the Wienerstube break-in is related to the prior offenses, but cited similarities in the crimes.

“Whoever is doing this isn’t good at it, but is willing to work at it,” he said.

[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com]