Aspen cops nab alleged Louis Vuitton thief
The Aspen Times
A Carbondale teen was arrested Thursday for felony theft after allegedly swiping more than $3,500 worth of goods from a high-end store in downtown Aspen, police said.
Samuel Candela-Herrera, 19, was apprehended after an off-duty sheriff’s deputy from Texas and his family, who recognized him on the street after witnessing the alleged shoplifting incident, called police and held him on the ground until they arrived, said Aspen police Officer Kirk Wheatley.
Candela-Herrera punched the 25-year-old off-duty deputy in the face, bit the man’s 49-year-old father on the hand and fought hard with three Aspen police officers on the corner of Hopkins Avenue and Mill Street before he was subdued, Wheatley said.
“I think he was on something,” said Officer Dan Davis, who helped apprehend the alleged thief.
Candela-Herrera had no identification on him and was only identified after Aspen police sent his picture to the Carbondale Police Department’s school resource officer, said Aspen Police Detective Jeff Fain. In addition to theft, he was charged with resisting arrest and assault, he said.
Police received a call about a shoplifting incident in progress at Louis Vuitton at about 12:30 p.m., Fain said. Store employees reported that Candela-Herrera “was trying stuff on and generally creeping people out in the store,” Fain said.
At one point, he opened a case of poker chips he was carrying, which worried employees because they thought he might have a gun or a knife, he said.
After about 20 minutes, Candela-Herrera attempted to leave through the front door with a black jacket and a gold necklace valued at about $3,600, but an employee blocked his exit, Fain said. The El Paso (Texas) County sheriff’s deputy and his family witnessed that portion of the incident, he said.
Candela-Herrera then walked to the back of the store, put the jacket and necklace into his backpack and tried to walk out the side door, Fain said. An employee grabbed the backpack, but he grabbed it back and ran out the side door, he said.
Not long after, the El Paso County sheriff’s deputy and family saw Candela-Herrera at the intersection of Hopkins and Mill, called 911 and detained him until officers arrived, Fain said.
When officers got there, they stood him up, but Candela-Herrera began trying to get away and resist. Eventually, they handcuffed him and put a strap around his legs, according to police video of the incident.
Police found the Louis Vuitton jacket and necklace in Candela-Herrera’s backpack. The items were placed in evidence.
The Austin family has always believed in supporting their community through food education, which is why it was an easy decision for them to begin partnering with The Community Market, a local hunger relief project, to improve access to local produce for low-income individuals in Eagle County.