High Country Crime: Suspect identified in $100k Aspen jewelry store robbery | SummitDaily.com

High Country Crime: Suspect identified in $100k Aspen jewelry store robbery

Aspen police have positively identified at least one man involved in a nearly $100,000 downtown jewelry store robbery in September and a judge recently signed a warrant for his arrest, according to court documents.

An Aspen detective also was able to obtain tentative identification on the other four people thought to have participated in the robbery at Maja du Brul Jewelry in the 300 block of Hopkins Avenue. The store was referred to as Christopher Walling Jewelry in previous media reports.

The Aspen Times agreed to a request from the District Attorney's Office not to release the names of the suspects or other identifying information because the warrant for the man remains active.

The robbery occurred Sept. 12 when three women in their 30s or 40s entered the store, followed soon after by an older man and woman. Video surveillance later showed the older man and subject of the arrest warrant take a pair of aquamarine and white gold earrings valued at $21,750 and a pair of pearl earrings valued at $28,000 from a case while a saleswoman was distracted by the other people, according to the arrest warrant affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.

One of the younger women — described as heavy-set with reddish brown hair — was caught on video taking a pendant that featured diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and gold valued at $45,240 from another case, again, while the saleswoman was distracted.

Police initially reported that the saleswoman caught the older man swiping a bracelet and grabbed it back from him before ordering the couple out of the store. The older woman began to make a scene about being accused of theft, though both left the store, Aspen police said at the time.

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Aspen Detective Ritchie Zah entered information about the case — including photos — into an independent crime analysis group that helps identify suspects in "high-dollar jewelry thefts," according to the affidavit. That led another jewelry store owner in another state to contact him and report that a similar-looking group attempted to run a similar scheme at his store.

Employees at that store didn't fall for the ruse, partially because another jewelry store up the street called to warn them about the group, which had just visited the other store, according to the affidavit. The other jewelry store employee had become suspicious of the group, declined to open jewelry cases, then followed them out of the store and watched them congregate in front of the second jewelry store, the affidavit states.

Zah was able to positively identify the subject of the active arrest warrant after a detective in another city described as an expert in crimes committed by the "gypsy community" recognized the man, the affidavit states. Two of the women in the Aspen robbery were described by the saleswoman as appearing "gypsy-like," according to the affidavit.

The man is charged with felony theft, according to the warrant signed in March by District Judge Chris Seldin. He has previously been arrested for robbery and felony larceny by other police departments in the United States, the warrant states.

-Jason Auslander, The Aspen Times

Temporary standoff in Craig disrupts Ag Day, leads to arrest of Routt County man

A standoff between local law enforcement and a man wanted on multiple felony warrants briefly interrupted a group of elementary students' visit to the Moffat County Fairgrounds but resulted in the successful arrest of the suspect.

Michael Alan Jones, 27, was wanted on felony charges in Routt County.

The Craig Police Department received information that Jones might be in the 400 block of Fourth Street and mobilized a team to serve the arrest warrant on Thursday, May 10.

"A perimeter was formed around the residence by officers from the Colorado State Patrol, Moffat County Sheriff's Office and the Craig Police Department," Craig Police chief Jerry DeLong said in a news release.

Numerous attempts were made to persuade Jones to come out of the residence, which was in close proximity to the fairgrounds, where the Moffat County Cattlewomen was hosting its annual Ag Day for fourth-grade students. Officers requested that teachers, students and volunteers shelter in place for about 20 minutes.

Officers approached the residence and located Jones, who continued to refuse to comply with commands.

"He was unable to elude officers, and he was taken into custody," DeLong said.

Jones, was transported to the Routt County Detention Center for booking, where he will also be charged, locally, with felony possession of a firearm, possession of a defaced firearm and resisting arrest.

The case is under investigation.

-Craig Press staff report

Criminal charges filed almost two months after Granby marijuana bust

Nearly two months after local authorities conducted a black market marijuana bust in Grand County, charges have been filed and an arrest has been made.

Matthew Niedermeyer turned himself in to the Grand County Jail on Wednesday, May 9, after multiple charges were filed against him by the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office related to the March 13 raid on two properties in Middle Park. The district attorney's office filed a total of 22 criminal counts against Niedermeyer, according to Granby police. Among other counts, Niedermeyer has been charged with possession and intent to distribute marijuana or concentrate, cultivation of marijuana plants, distribution/sale of marijuana or concentrate, possession/manufacture of marijuana on concentrate and two special offender counts.

Law enforcement officials from multiple local agencies on March 13 conducted a pair of raids on two properties, one in the Granby Ranch area and another near Lake Granby.

According to local officials, both locations were identified as being related to the production and illegal distribution of marijuana. Granby chief of police Jim Kraker noted at the time that several individuals were detained and questioned related to the raids but no arrests were made or charges filed at that time.

After turning himself in to authorities, Niedermeyer appeared in Grand County Court. His bond was set at $10,000, which he posted and was released.

-Lance Maggart, Sky-Hi News