Aspen duck thieves nabbed, cops say |

Aspen duck thieves nabbed, cops say

Joel Stonington
Vail, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” When residents attempt future duck capers, they should avoid running a red light. That’s what snagged three Carbondale men who allegedly stole a giant duck off the lawn of an Aspen business.

Jason Lingus, 19, Matthew Smith, 26, and Michael Lacey, 26, were in car pulled over by a Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy the night the duck was taken after they allegedly ran a red light. The three continued home after the traffic stop. Aspen police said they did not know if the driver had been cited for a traffic offense.

But after word of the duck theft spread, the deputy remembered seeing oversized webbed feet sticking out from under a tarp. He then tracked the license plate to a Carbondale business ” and the duck just happened to still be in the back of the truck when the three men’s boss looked there.

The men were all cited for misdemeanor theft after turning themselves in and admitting to the theft, said Aspen police officer Jim Crowley.

“All three confessed to taking it and brought it back unharmed,” Crowley said. “They had been drinking and said it was a stupid thing to do.”

The man who was driving had not been drinking, Crowley said.

The sizable duck ” yellow, with sunglasses ” was advertising the Aspen Ducky Derby Festival and the ducks on sale at Olson Builders. In the last 15 years, the derby has raised more than $1.7 million for local and international charities.

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