High Country Crime: Aspen clothing store employee steals $15K in less than two months | SummitDaily.com

High Country Crime: Aspen clothing store employee steals $15K in less than two months

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

An 18-year-old local clothing store employee admitted Monday, Nov. 20 to stealing nearly $15,000 worth of merchandise from the business despite only working there for a month and a half, according to court documents.

Kaden Gustin, who was charged with felony theft, told police he took 18 separate items from Moncler in downtown Aspen, including jackets, pants, shirts and shoes, according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.

Aspen police were called to the store about 6:20 p.m. Monday after staff members checked Gustin's bag and found a $1,675 ski jacket inside it, the affidavit states.

"(Staff members) said that Gustin admitted to them he stole the jacket as well as numerous other items," according to the court filing. "They explained to us that Gustin had been employed at the store for approximately one and one half months and that inventory had been disappearing during that time."

Gustin told a police officer he stole the jacket as well as other items that were at his Snowmass Village apartment. He volunteered to take officers to the apartment and retrieve the stolen merchandise, the affidavit states.

When the officer arrived at the apartment, Gustin's roommate told the officer "that Gustin had messaged him moments before and asked him to hide the Moncler items from his (Gustin's) bedroom because he was in trouble," according to the affidavit.

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"(The roommate) said that he went into Gustin's bedroom and took the Moncler items outside to his (the roommate's) car," the affidavit states. "(The roommate) then retrieved the items from his car and brought them inside, giving them to me."

Gustin also gave the officer other items from his room that had allegedly been stolen from the store. A Moncler store manager told police the value of the items he stole was $14,580.

Gustin, who said he originally was from Vail, has no criminal history, a prosecutor said Tuesday during his advisement hearing in District Court. District Judge Chris Seldin allowed him out of jail on a personal recognizance bond.

-Jason Auslander, the Aspen Times

Chop shop discovered in Rifle storage unit

Rifle police arrested two men on felony charges for aggravated motor vehicle theft and "chop shop activity" last Monday.

Early Nov. 18 morning, a Rifle man woke to find his truck, a black Dodge Ram 2500, was missing.

Then on Monday, a man who rents a Rifle storage unit was alerted to someone trespassing in his unit. When officers arrived, three trespassers were still there. The officer could hear people and the sounds of metal objects inside. Among them was the renter's 21-year-old nephew.

All three men appeared nervous. "Their entire body was shaking and [two] had dry mouth. All three men had a hard time standing still and kept pacing and tapping their feet," the officer reported.

Inside the unit the officer immediately found a plume of smoke and chemical smell.

"The smoke was so thick, I could clearly see the beam of my flashlight passing through it. I saw several Acetylene and oxygen tanks, with torches." The officer found vehicle parts strewn about the floor, including the cab of a black Dodge Ram 2500, "stripped of all seats, steering wheel and all interior components."

The vehicle identification number had been removed in three different locations.

The 21-year-old acknowledged that the truck was stolen but said that he had not stolen it. He also acknowledged that the parts were going to be sold, but he said that he had merely provided the place for the truck to be dismantled.

The 21-year-old said that he was being forced to provide a location. He "stated 'they' had been threatening him and his family," according to an arrest report. He told officers that he owed money to a "large organization" and that "honestly, he would never be done paying them."

He added that "he only felt he could see things clearly [when] he would do 'Crystal.'" He told officers that "he would do bad things and then regret them."

Eventually the 21-year-old broke down crying and pulling his hair, and said "that he had stolen the truck and that he had cut it up. [He] said he had done everything," according to an affidavit.

Two of the men were arrested on felony charges of aggravated motor vehicle theft, first-degree trespassing and two counts of chop shop activity.

-Ryan Summerlin, Glenwood Springs Post-Independent

Belligerent man found with cocaine in Aspen

A 23-year-old El Salvador man was arrested early Sunday, Nov. 19 after picking a fight at a Basalt bar and acting belligerently toward a police officer, according to court records.

Then, after Luis Lovo-Castillo was handcuffed, an officer found a bindle of white powder in his pocket that tested positive for cocaine, according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.

The incident began after a Basalt police officer, who was at the bar briefly talking to the bartender and some of the patrons, was waived over to a group of three Hispanic men challenging each other to a fight, the affidavit states.

Two of the men were cooperative, but Lovo-Castillo refused to leave and attempted to re-enter Stubbies Bar. After the officer began to run Lovo-Castillo's passport through emergency dispatchers, Lovo-Castillo "lunged toward me and grabbed the passport," the officer wrote in the affidavit.

The officer then arrested Lovo-Castillo and found the alleged cocaine. Lovo-Castillo was charged with felony possession of cocaine and disorderly conduct.

On the way to the Pitkin County Jail, Lovo-Castillo repeatedly kicked the partition between the back and front seats in the police car and the back door, the affidavit states. He also screamed in Spanish, spit on the partition and blew his nose on it, according to the affidavit.

After being placed in a jail cell, Lovo-Castillo slammed his watch on the ground and broke it, then punched a wall, the affidavit states.

District Judge Chris Seldin allowed Lovo-Castillo out of jail on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond, meaning he'll owe the court $2,500 if he fails to show up for future court dates. Seldin also required him to enter a program of monitored abstinence from alcohol and drugs.

-Jason Auslander, the Aspen Times