Burglary, party in Snowmass land teens in hot water
Three Aspen High School students are facing felony charges after they allegedly broke into a classmate’s home while he and his family were on vacation, threw a party and stole alcohol and clothes.
The two 17-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy appeared Monday with their parents in front of District Judge Gail Nichols. The boys are not being identified because they are juveniles.
Each is charged with burglary, criminal trespassing and conspiracy to commit burglary — all felonies — as well as misdemeanor theft. The range of penalties is wide, though they could include juvenile jail and paying restitution.
The party apparently took place between Aug. 13 and Aug. 15 at a home in Snowmass Village, according to the court hearing and Snowmass Village Police Chief Brian Olson.
Olson said the owners of the home returned from vacation and took a couple days to piece together what happened through social media and word of mouth. Once they discovered their house had probably hosted a party while they were gone, they reported their suspicions to a school resource officer, who turned the case over to Snowmass Village police, he said.
Police were then able to determine who was responsible for orchestrating the party, Olson said.
The home was not trashed or damaged, though beer, wine and clothing were taken, according to Olson and Monday’s court hearing. Between 10 and 20 people attended the party, Olson said.
“My sense is (the homeowners) felt pretty violated,” he said.
The classmate who lives in the home was not a close friend of the boys who broke in, Olson said.
At Monday’s hearing, none of the three boys or their parents felt they needed counseling, drug and alcohol testing or other services generally provided to defendants before trial. District Attorney Sherry Caloia said she wanted them screened by pre-trial services at some point, but said she saw no reason to require counseling or other services.
Only one of the boys appeared with a lawyer. The mother of one of the other boys and the father of the other without lawyers appeared surprised at the seriousness of the charges against their children.
“He’s a good kid,” said the father of one of the 17-year-olds.
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“I can’t even begin to tell you how important this is,” said YouthZone Executive Director Lori Mueller. “This is an integral part of helping kids get back on the right track.”