High Country Crime: Man in Aspen arrested after claiming to be former NFL player
A 25-year-old man attempted to usurp the identity of a well-known former NFL receiver Friday, July 14, in a bid to purchase more than $18,000 worth of merchandise from Louis Vuitton in downtown Aspen, police said in court documents.
Mervin Cabe of Miami told employees at the high-end luxury goods store that he was Chad Johnson — who is formerly known as Chad Ochocinco — in order to make the purchase. Customers at Louis Vuitton must have a “profile ID” in order for their transactions to go through, according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.
Cabe could not come up with the matching phone number to Chad Johnson’s profile ID, though an employee did allow him to purchase $18,548 worth of items. Cabe initially tried to use a credit card that was twice declined to make the purchase, then pulled up an Apple Pay account on his cellphone, which worked, the affidavit states.
Cabe also told Aspen police officers he was Chad Johnson, though he gave them a date of birth different from the former football player’s, the affidavit states. He also declined to show them the Apple Pay account and credit card number he used to purchase the items.
Officers described his behavior as “highly evasive” and said he “kept making excuses and repeating the same nonsensical story,” according to the affidavit.
However, he finally asked to speak with a sergeant on scene, who later said Cabe told him, “You’re going to have to take me … to jail. I’ve done something bad,” the affidavit states.
Police later checked a database and discovered Chad Johnson’s identity and that he does live in Miami.
“More internet research showed that Chad Javon Johnson … is an ex-NFL player and known to shop for and wear Louis Vuitton merchandise,” according to the affidavit.
Cabe was charged with identity theft and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device, both felonies.
—Jason Auslander, The Aspen Times
Woman steals car, reads Bible
A 41-year-old man reported to Rifle police on July 2 that a woman he let stay at his place had stolen his car.
He told Rifle police that he was acquaintances with her boyfriend, and that she came to his residence July 1 looking for a place to stay. At about 5:30 a.m., the woman told him that she was going to Kum & Go for a drink.
And at 8:30 a.m. he woke to find his white Saturn sedan and keys gone.
The woman had been homeless for several weeks to months, according to police. After she brought the car back to him later that morning, she told police that he had offered to let her use the sedan.
She told police that he let her take the car, and while she’d intended to bring it right back, she went back to her old neighborhood where she sat, read the Bible and eventually fell asleep.
When she woke back up, the car wouldn’t start, and she had to get a jump-start from a man she knew, she told police.
This incident caused the man to be late for his daughter’s birthday, he told police.
She was arrested on felony aggravated motor vehicle theft.
—Ryan Summerlin, Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
Craig couple arrested on suspicion of stealing expensive mountain bikes from Steamboat
An anonymous tip helped police find and arrest a Craig couple suspected of stealing a pair of bicycles worth $5,700 from a Steamboat Springs store last month.
According to arrest affidavits filed in Routt County Court, Leslie “Dale” Billings and Kristine Marie Phillips were arrested Wednesday, July 19, on suspicion of felony theft after police found the stolen mountain bikes spray-painted different colors at their home.
A tipster called the Routt County Crime Stoppers hotline Tuesday saying they had overheard Billings and Phillips talking about how they stole two bicycles in Steamboat that were worth $6,000.
Investigators in Steamboat, who had put out surveillance photos of the thieves to the public this week, called the Craig Police Department and learned officers there had contacted the couple the day before during a traffic stop.
Craig police sergeant Tony Fandel said Billings was arrested during that traffic stop on suspicion of illegal drug possession, and the vehicle he and Phillips were driving was impounded, along with a pair of spray-painted bikes in the back. Police impounded the bikes because the couple could not provide proof they owned them.
Phillips later provided Craig police a receipt for the bikes that claimed they were purchased from a thrift store in California, according to the arrest affidavit.
The bikes were then returned to Phillips, because police in Craig had not yet learned about any stolen bikes in Steamboat.
That changed Wednesday.
A Craig police officer who saw the surveillance photos that were released from the bike theft in Steamboat recognized Billings and Phillips and believed they were the thieves.
Phillips and Billings were taken into custody and transported to the Routt County Jail on Thursday afternoon.
The anonymous tipster who provided information that helped police arrest the couple will receive a $500 reward.
—Scott Franz, Steamboat Today
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