Carbondale robbery suspects taken into custody after eluding capture
A different Basalt officer, Sgt. Aaron Munch, confirmed Wednesday that Ameral used to live with family members on Elk Lane in Basalt. Police had frequent contact with Ameral when he was a minor, Munch said. Therefore, he said, he couldn’t discuss the nature of the contacts.
“All dealings we had with him were when he was under 18,” Munch said.
Carbondale police confirmed through a law enforcement database that Ameral’s most recent address was in Carbondale, and they went to that residence Feb. 17, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. They contacted Ameral’s mother and learned from her that Nicholas had been “hanging out” with his cousin Weeks, who had arrived from Tulare, California, approximately two weeks before.
The woman said the men had stayed at her house the prior night but she “made it clear that Benjamin and Nicholas did not live at the residence but stayed there occasionally.” They had slept on the floor in the living room the night of the robbery, according to the arrest affidavit.
Carbondale police were given permission to search the residence and they allegedly found shoes, gloves and a hoodie that matched the description of clothing used in the robbery, the affidavit said. They also found a Glock 9mm magazine that was loaded, but they didn’t find the handgun.
Carbondale officers contacted police in Tulare and spoke to an officer who said he had personally arrested Weeks in the past. Tulare police said Weeks had been arrested for simple battery in 2012, knife on a school campus in 2013, marijuana at school in 2013, residential burglary in 2014, marijuana at school in 2014 and on juvenile warrants in 2015 and 2016.
According to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records, Ameral was arrested by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office in April 2016 on a felony menacing case out of Pitkin County as well as contributing to the delinquency of a minor, liquor possession by an under age person and marijuana possession for a person under 21 years of age.
Carbondale police released pictures and descriptions of Ameral and Weeks on Sunday and valley newspapers published stories Monday that described them as suspects in the robbery.
Once their pictures were out, Snowmass Village Police received reports that the men were possibly spotted in the village over the weekend, according to Police Chief Brian Olson.
The men allegedly bought rolling papers in a Snowmass Village liquor store Saturday, Olson said. They also were spotted Saturday rolling a joint in the day room of a lodge, he said. They were asked to leave since they weren’t staying there, according to Olson.
It’s unknown where the men were Sunday and Monday. Olson said it remains unknown if the men had a friend or acquaintance with whom they stayed in Snowmass Village. On Tuesday, Ameral and Weeks boarded a bus in Snowmass Village at around 9 a.m. and were reported to authorities.
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