Bike thefts

Bikes at rest outside of Aspen’s Ute City Cycles are pictured earlier this week. Last Sunday at around 1:45 a.m., two bicycles with a combined value of more than $10,000 were stolen and loaded into a parked vehicle in an alley on East Hopkins Avenue. 

After two bicycles were reported stolen from Aspen’s downtown core early Sunday morning after the Fourth of July holiday, a 39-year-old man with a Glenwood Springs address was arrested Wednesday.

David Hietapelto was one of two men caught on surveillance video footage at around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. They possessed two high-end stolen bicycles: a Yeti valued at about $6,000 and a Trek with a price tag estimated at $5,000, according to an Aspen police report. 

Hietapelto faces two felony charges: one for theft and another for introducing contraband into the Pitkin County Jail. The second suspect was not in custody as of Thursday evening.

The video depicted the two men loading the stolen merchandise into a red GMC Yukon with a Colorado license plate — the surveillance also captured the details of the plate — in an alley behind Meat & Cheese Restaurant on Hopkins Avenue.

On Wednesday at approximately 7:30 p.m., Aspen Police Sergeant Rob Fabrocini called fellow officer Ian MacAyeal, explaining that the vehicle in question was again parked in the same parking bay initially recorded in the Sunday surveillance footage.

Upon investigation, MacAyeal found the vehicle in question, its tailgate open and tools visible, according to a police report. 

“Hietapelto noticed me, became visibly nervous and asked me what I was doing,” MacAyeal wrote. “I simply told him I was waiting for someone. Hietapelto then left.”

MacAyeal then received still photos of Hietapelto from the original surveillance footage, and the officer was able to recognize him — the matching tattoos helped — as the man with whom he’d just spoken. At that point, he received confirmation from investigators that he had probable cause for a warrantless arrest. 

During the booking process at the Pitkin County Jail, a deputy found a small baggie in Hietapelto’s wallet, which he turned over to MacAyeal.

“The baggie contained two separate unknown substances,” MacAyeal wrote in his report. “They looked like controlled substances, such as heroin and methamphetamine.”

Despite being made aware of his Miranda rights, including the right to remain silent, Hietapelto nodded affirmatively when asked if the substances were indeed heroin and methamphetamine. 

He faces a class 5 felony theft charge, as well as a class 6 felony introduction of contraband charge. Additionally, an Aspen police arrest report indicated Hietapelto also netted two class 1 misdemeanor charges for possession of controlled substances. 

Hietapelto is being held on $7,000 bond. He is due in Pitkin County District Court on Aug. 3. 

megan@aspendailynews.com

Megan Tackett is a reporter for the Aspen Daily News. She can be reached at megan@aspendailynews.com or on Twitter @MeganTackett10.