Aspen robbery suspects may have hit Vail, too, police say |

Aspen robbery suspects may have hit Vail, too, police say

Carolyn Sackariason
Aspen Correspondent
Vail CO Colorado

ASPEN, Colorado – Two California men were arrested Wednesday on suspicion that they stole an estimated $27,000 worth of merchandise – mostly high-end ski gear – from at least six retail shops in Aspen and possibly Vail, Colorado.

Devint Visanh Vongphachan, 25, and Philbert Lantin Delrio, 31, face five felony charges and a misdemeanor of possessing less than 1 ounce of marijuana.

They appeared Thursday handcuffed at the wrists and ankles in front of Judge James Boyd of the 9th Judicial District Court. They were advised of their rights and the charges pending against them. If convicted, they could face decades in prison and millions of dollars in fines. Boyd set their bond at $50,000 each.

Aspen Police officers arrested Vongphachan, of San Pablo, California, and Delrio, of Union City, California, around 6 p.m. Wednesday. Police say their car contained two duffel bags stuffed with 51 jackets manufactured by North Face, Marmot, Cloudveil, Arcteryx and Polo. Also in the duffel bags were six bottles of Cristal champagne, two pairs of Arcteryx ski pants and several accessory items by Prada and other brands.

Delrio and Vongphachan are on felony probation for receiving stolen property and have convictions for burglary and theft, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin. He told Boyd he believed both suspects are not allowed to leave California per the terms of their probations. He asked that their bonds of $16,300 and $15,050 be increased due to their flight risk.

Delrio was convicted in April of receiving stolen property in Fairfield, Calif. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail and 36 months of probation. Delrio also has a previous burglary conviction and served time in county jail.

“Should he be convicted here, it would be his third strike,” Mordkin told the judge.

Vongphachan was convicted of petty theft in Sacramento and receiving stolen property in Fremont, Calif. He received three years of probation in 2009, according to Mordkin.

Delrio asked the judge that he be released on his own recognizance so he could return to California and resume work as a contractor building model homes.

“I want to get back to my normal life,” he told Boyd. “I’ve never been a flight liability.”

Delrio and Vongphachan face the following felony charges: one count of a theft greater than $20,000; six counts of a theft greater than $1,000; six counts of second-degree burglary; one count of conspiracy to commit theft and burglary and one count of possessing burglary tools.

The suspects are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 1.

Cole said the items indicate that the alleged thefts didn’t just occur in Aspen.

“There were sweatshirts and shirts that said ‘Vail’ on them,” he said. “There was a little of everything.”

Aspen police will be contacting the Vail Police Department to coordinate the investigation.

It’s unknown how long the alleged shoplifting spree lasted. Cole said the Subaru was rented on Jan. 6 and the first documented theft occurred on Jan. 9.

When the suspects were first contacted in the City Market parking lot, they were uncooperative, he said.

“We weren’t getting straight answers, and they were pretty evasive,” he said.

Aspen Police want retailers who believe they were victims of theft to call the Aspen Police Department at 970-920-5400.

“We have all of this unclaimed stuff, and we know it’s stolen,” said Aspen Police Investigator Walter Chi. “We’re not the only jurisdiction that was hit.”

As detectives catalog the recovered property, they will contact businesses to identify their property.

“We have located some stores but not all of them,” Chi said.

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