Two Aspen pot shops burglarized |

Two Aspen pot shops burglarized

ASPEN – Two medicinal marijuana shops in downtown Aspen were broken into early Monday morning, with one store suffering a major blow to its inventory, a business owner said.

Owners at both Ute City Medicinals and L.E.A.F. said a scrawny man, whom Aspen police estimate to be 5 feet 7 inches tall and 140 pounds in weight, entered their businesses shortly after midnight.

While nothing was taken from L.E.A.F., Ute City saw a “significant loss of medicinal product,” according to a press release from the Aspen Police Department.

Ute City Medicinals owner Brett Nelson and Aspen police detective Ian MacAyeal would not disclose the amount or retail value of the marijuana taken from the shop, located on Cooper Avenue.

Nelson, however, said 14 different strains of plants were stolen, along with some glass pipes, several computers and 50 bucks in cash. He added that the suspect entered through the shop’s roof.

Nelson pleaded to the public for help. While the still-shots released by police Monday appear grainy, Nelson and the APD said higher-quality video footage will be available on Facebook and YouTube. The APD plans to have a video posted at

The video footage was obtained from the security camera of L.E.A.F., located a few blocks away on South Spring Street. There, co-owner Billy Miller said the same man broke in through a glass window at approximately 12:11 a.m., igniting the security alarm. With the alarm blaring, the man spent some 90 seconds combing the shop.

But after realizing none of L.E.A.F.’s product was in plain sight – it’s stored during after hours in locked rooms, Miller said – the suspect fled the scene.

MacAyeal called the suspect’s behavior “brazen,” adding “it was pretty clear he was pretty intent” on his mission to steal marijuana.

Miller didn’t learn of the break-in until after noon Monday. He said he’d been in Grand Junction and couldn’t be reached by his security firm, which tried to call him after the alarm system was activated.

Both Miller and MacAyeal said they believe the suspect hit L.E.A.F. first, then went straight to Ute City Medicinals.

“He was wearing baggy-ass pants, snowboard gloves, a snowboard coat and maybe a pair of khakis or blue jeans,” Miller said.

Police said the suspect was wearing a white beanie, pullover jacket and Vans shoes at the time of the burglary at Ute City.

Nelson said he thinks the both break-ins were committed by a local, because the suspect in both incidents “knew where things were.”

The break-ins did not interrupt business at Ute City or L.E.A.F., Nelson and Miller said, adding they’ll remain open during their regular hours. MacAyeal, meanwhile, said he is contacting local pot shops to make sure they keep their products stashed away during non-business hours.

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