Alleged bike thief arrested in Calif.
The Basalt man arrested last week for allegedly stealing two expensive mountain bikes in Snowmass Village was arrested Tuesday in California on unspecified charges, an official said.
David Thompson, 39, failed to appear Monday in District Court in Aspen, and a judge issued an arrest warrant ordering him held on a $50,000 cash-only bond, said Deputy District Attorney Don Nottingham. It was not clear Tuesday exactly where in California Thompson was arrested or why, Nottingham said.
Meanwhile, the investigation into Thompson and a woman he was staying with in Basalt now includes allegations of drug possession and use, credit card fraud and the theft of bike parts, according to court documents.
Area law enforcement agencies are trying to link Thompson to other similar high-end bicycle thefts in Snowmass Village and Aspen, Nottingham said.
Thompson was arrested a week ago on a charge of felony theft after Snowmass Village police linked him to the Sept. 14 theft of an $8,500 new Yeti mountain bike that had been double locked to a bike carrier attached to a car parked at a Snowmass Village condominium complex. He also was linked to the theft the same day of a mountain bike left unlocked on the balcony of an apartment in Snowmass Village.
The manager of the Roaring Fork Apartments in Basalt provided the link to Thompson, reporting to police that she’d seen him with a new bike every week, according to court documents. Police later found the Yeti in the apartment complex’s bike storage area, while surveillance video showed Thompson wheeling the bike into the area.
Snowmass Village officers then searched the apartment where Thompson was staying and recovered the second bike stolen from the apartment balcony, the documents state.
The search also turned up a Specialized Stumpjumper mountain bike and a slew of bike parts, including front and rear shocks, brakes and wheels, according to the search warrant filed in Pitkin County District Court. Also found in the apartment were 19 glass pipes, three containers with a crystal substance inside that preliminarily tested positive for methamphetamine and 11 vials containing unknown, “gel-like” substances, according to the search warrant return.
They also found syringes, butane lighters, spoons and a digital scale, the warrant states.
Elizabeth Sullivan, 45, who rented the apartment, was charged with possession of methamphetamine last week as a result of the search, according to court documents.
Finally, officers discovered items inside the apartment they thought were purchased with a stolen credit card. The victim in that case reported her credit card stolen Sept. 7 to Basalt police and said purchases and attempted purchases were made at a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus station in Basalt, a Target store in Grand Junction, an adult store in Grand Junction and a 7-11 convenience store in Basalt, according to the search warrant.
Some of the items seized by police from the Basalt apartment matched those purchased at the adult store, identified as “The 24 Road Emporium,” the search warrant return states. In addition, surveillance footage from the 7-11 appeared to show Thompson using the stolen credit card to buy a two-pound bag of sugar, according to the warrant.
Police searched Thompson’s black Honda Element, which yielded numerous items including “side cutting pliers,” tin snips, a cutting tool, bike tools and head lamps, the warrant states.
The search warrant also related an incident from Aug. 12, when someone stripped a mountain bike locked up outside Four Mountain Sports in Snowmass Village. The front and rear brakes, front and rear shocks and the front wheel from the bike were found the next day “in the area of the Roaring Fork Apartments” in Basalt, the warrant states.
Thompson is likely to be extradited back to Colorado from California.
This summer, an Aspen police official cited four expensive bike thefts in June and July — three of which featured bikes stolen after locks were cut — and said he suspected someone was hunting high-end bikes in the city. In August, at least three more expensive bikes were stolen after locks securing them were cut, Aspen police Detective Ritchie Zah said Tuesday.
Zah said he has not yet been able to link Thompson to the high-end bike thefts in Aspen this summer, though he was working with Snowmass Village and Basalt officers.
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