Aspen woman accused of taking pricey items from friend

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Jill Pasternack

ASPEN — Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols has set bond at $2,500 for a woman accused of lifting items from a friend whom she recently helped with packing chores.

Jill S. Pasternack, 41, of Aspen, was still in the custody of the Pitkin County Jail as of Wednesday evening. She was being held on suspicion of one count of felony theft, between $2,000 and $5,000, following her Tuesday night arrest by Aspen police.

An affidavit in support of the arrest, written by Officer Kirk Wheatley, states that he called the alleged victim on Tuesday. She said she employed her friend, Pasternack, for a few days early last week to help her pack various belongings for a move to California.

Soon after, the alleged victim said she noticed that her Louis Vuitton handbag, valued at $1,800, was missing. She phoned Pasternack, who returned the item the next day, the affidavit said.

The alleged victim said she forgave Pasternack, who later allegedly told police that the handbag was among a pile of items that the alleged victim gave her.

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After the handbag was returned, the alleged victim discovered that her Louis Vuitton wallet, valued at $800, also was missing, along with her driver’s license, Social Security card, passport, Louis Vuitton gift card (valued at $416), Nordstrom gift card ($350), Macy’s gift card ($150), checkbook and $100 cash, Wheatley said.

The alleged victim also could not find her other Louis Vuitton handbag, valued at $1,300, the affidavit said.

“(She) suspected that Pasternack had stolen these items but did not want to confront her until she knew for sure,” Wheatley said.

The alleged victim said she called the Louis Vuitton store in Aspen to ask if anyone had used a gift card. The manager said a woman, matching Pasternack’s description, visited the store earlier to find out how much credit was on a gift card, the affidavit said.

The alleged victim said she phoned Pasternack and told her that the store had video of her with the gift card. According to the alleged victim, “Pasternack began to cry and told her she took the wallet and she was sorry,” the affidavit said.

Later, Pasternack went to return the wallet at the alleged victim’s residence, where police were present, Wheatley said.

“(The alleged victim) was upset and asked Pasternack why she stole her belongings,” he wrote. “Pasternack told (her) she was mad at her because she treated her poorly while they were packing. Pasternack said (the alleged victim) talked down to her and told her she should be jealous of her and everything she has.”

Though Pasternack returned the wallet, some items were missing, according to the affidavit.

“Pasternack said she shredded the driver’s license, Social Security card (and) checkbook and disposed of them in a recycle bin,” Wheatley said.

The wallet contained the Nordstrom and Louis Vuitton gift cards, along with $85 cash, the affidavit said.

Pasternack was arrested and later told police that while helping the alleged victim with the packing — at an agreed-upon rate of $17 per hour — the alleged victim began yelling at her and treating her “like crap,” the affidavit said. Pasternack also said that the alleged victim gave her a pile of clothing and told her she could have it, the officer wrote.

Pasternack said she should not have taken the wallet but that she wanted to hurt the alleged victim for the way she was treated, the affidavit said.

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