The director of the Aspen Skiing Co.-owned D&E/Four Mountain Sports told Aspen police that the ski shop is missing more than 400 items, according to a new search warrant prepared for a burglary suspect.
Timothy Tobin, 30, of Aspen, a former D&E employee, faces felony charges of burglary, theft and possession of burglary tools. He appeared briefly in court Wednesday after his attorney, Chip McCrory of Carbondale, filed a motion to have his client’s laptop and cell phone returned from police custody.
The motion was deemed moot because Judge Gail Nichols of the 9th Judicial District on Monday authorized the new search warrant. It allows Aspen police to analyze the computer and phone to see if he sold some of the items on eBay or another website. The computer and phone were seized when Tobin was arrested in March. It is the second search warrant issued in the case.
He allegedly stole 11 snowboards, 17 GoPro cameras, apparel and other merchandise totaling nearly $19,000 from the Aspen ski shop from which he was fired.
Investigators are trying to discern how many of those 400 missing items may be related to Tobin, Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrea Bryan said Wednesday.
Aspen police Detective Walter Chi wrote in the new search warrant that he is seeking from the computer and phone, among other information, photographs that would establish Tobin had possessed and/or transferred the “stolen snowboards, ski equipment items, apparel and accessories to others ...”
The warrant says Chi also will search for transactions involving eBay, Craigslist and other Internet sites.
Managers at the D&E ski shop on Durant Avenue called police on Feb. 28 to report the theft. They said their security cameras had caught the suspect disguised in a balaclava entering the store at 5 a.m. that morning, the arrest warrant says.
Two employees told police they recognized Tobin on the surveillance footage.
Besides the nearly $7,400 worth of snowboards and GoPro cameras, each of which are valued at $400, the person took three pairs of goggles that cost $650 each, a $380 pair of sunglasses and six pairs of snowboard boots, the warrant says.
His former roommate in the Centennial apartment complex contacted police March 1 when he learned Tobin was the suspect, according to the warrant.
The roommate, who told police that Tobin and he had lived together for about a month, “had started to notice over the past couple of weeks that several snowboards and snowboarding-related items had shown up at the apartment,” the warrant says.
At the apartment on March 1, Chi and another police officer executed the first search warrant. In a trash bag in Tobin’s room were discarded security tags, packaging boxes and wrappers, and a list, Chi wrote.
“The list contained names and items, even sizes for items that would not fit Tobin,” Chi’s warrant says. “On the [list] were also ... many of the items that were discovered and listed as stolen, ‘goggles + cases, glasses + cases, memory cards, watch cases, boards, bindings, stickers, boots, hats, GoPros, skis [and] boots ...’”
Chi wrote that he believes the writing was a shopping list for Tobin, “who was offering to obtain items” for another employee of the store.
D&E director Hunter Webster turned over to police a missing inventory list from the Aspen store with more than 400 items. The list was cross-referenced with what has been recovered, and “many items still are missing,” the warrant says.
Some of the items may be missing because of D&E moving inventory around, Chi said in an interview. But a lot of the merchandise reported as stolen was recovered from Tobin’s apartment, he said.
“Our evidence locker is very full because of this case,” Chi said.
Chi’s warrant says that he believes Tobin “either sold or gifted items to others, and the preferred method of selling stolen goods is either face-to-face transactions or selling the items on web-based sales sites such as eBay, Craigslist or others.”
A second arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for Tobin after he missed a 10 a.m. hearing on the motion to get his computer and phone back. McCrory said his client had overslept. Nichols quashed the warrant after Bryan said she did not object, saying that she trusted Tobin “has caught up on his sleep” and that it won’t happen again.
A complete list of what D&E is missing is expected to be turned over to the police and the defendant within 30 days, McCrory said.
Tobin’s next court date is May 20.