Robert Allen
Summit County Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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September 3, 2010
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Breckenridge ski bandit to be sentenced this month

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado - The man accused of burglarizing Mountain Outfitters three times earlier this year has accepted a plea bargain with the district attorney's office and awaits sentencing.

Jason Roger Oberg, who was 23 when the events occurred, was arrested in March early one morning near the scenes of burglaries at both Primo Outdoors and Mountain Outfitters in downtown Breckenridge.

He was taken to a local hospital after he ran from police and had a violent encounter with a sheriff's office canine.

The original charges against Oberg included four counts of burglary and two counts of theft - each class IV felonies punishable by two to six years in prison and fines of $2,000 to $500,000.

Misdemeanors against him included cruelty to animals, theft, resisting arrest, obstructing a law animal and two counts of criminal mischief, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said.

The plea agreement has Oberg facing a Sept. 20 sentencing on one count of burglary and two counts of theft - all felonies.

Sentencing, planned for this week, was delayed while it is determined whether community corrections is available, and to settle a dispute on restitution.

At the hearing Chris Tennal, owner of Mountain Outfitters, said that, never having been targeted for theft or vandalism before, he was subjected to unsettling burglaries three times in one month.

"After each incident, my wife and staff experienced a deep sense of dread and paranoia," he said in court Monday. "He has inflicted undue hardship on our business."

The many items stolen from the retail store range from $1,230 Kastle backcountry skis to $399 Arc'teryx ski pants and a $129 Kershaw knife, according to a previous report.

Hurlbert said Wednesday his office is asking for prison time if community corrections - which allows flexibility with work and is highly preferable to the Department of Corrections - is unavailable.

Defense attorney Todd Barson said in court Monday that because Oberg doesn't have a criminal history, is gainfully employed and has sought therapy, he should be spared prison time and instead have six years of intense supervision.

Chief District Court Judge Terry Ruckriegle said Monday that it is "unusual for a first-time offender to go to DOC for a nonviolent offense."

Oberg was prepared to pay $8,000 in restitution.

The prosecution has asked that Oberg pay the retail value of the merchandise taken; the difference between wholesale and retail value is roughly $5,000.

"The victim is entitled to out-of-pocket losses; this is equipment he would sell," prosecutor Anne Francis said Monday.

Hurlbert said Wednesday that his office will be satisfied with whichever restitution the court finds appropriate through legal research.


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The Post Independent Updated Sep 3, 2010 01:44PM Published Sep 3, 2010 01:00AM Copyright 2010 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.