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Burglary spree hits Basalt restaurants

Paul Conrad/The Aspen TimesClamps keeps a new door jam secure as the wood glue dries at Basalt Bistro after a break-in Tuesday.
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BASALT ” Some messy burglars hit four restaurants in Basalt early Tuesday morning in a crime spree that police say appears connected to earlier break-ins in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.

The burglars hit Cafe Bernard and Two Rivers Cafe downtown, and they also attempted to break into Bistro Basalt, Police Chief Keith Ikeda said.

The burglars also hit Ho Palace and Redstone Pizza at the commercial center near Diamond Shamrock. All burglaries apparently occurred between 4 and 5 a.m. Tuesday, Ikeda said.



In all cases, the burglars used a crowbar to pry open doors. Ikeda wouldn’t disclose the amount of cash taken but said it was small.

“In fact, they did more damage prying,” Ikeda said.

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Bernard Moffroid, co-owner of Cafe Bernard said the burglars “trashed the bakery.” His wife arrived around 5:30 a.m. to prepare for breakfast and found flour, sugar and other kitchen supplies strewn around. A cooler was left open.

“She thought it was a bear,” Moffroid said.

Moffroid figured the people were searching for cash in odd places, like the canisters holding baking supplies.



Just down Basalt’s main street at Two Rivers Cafe, manager Audrey Medina said the restaurant and bar area were ransacked, but the thieves couldn’t get into the kitchen.

The burglars knocked crackers all over the restaurant floor and left a cooler open. When one of the owners discovered the mess, he also thought at first it was the work of a bear, Medina said.

The burglars’ actions were hard to explain, she said. The cash register in the restaurant was pried open, yet the thieves carefully used keys to open locks on cabinets in the bar, then replaced the locks on chains.

The burglars left about $40 in rolls of coins untouched, but they stole about $260 in football pool money. The thieves left the booze alone, Medina said.

Ikeda said the evidence indicates that there was more than one burglar. There were no witnesses to the break-ins, but one business owner might have spooked the burglars, he said.

Authorities believe recent break-ins in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs are “very possibly” related because of similar methods, Ikeda said.

Burglars hit three businesses at Carbondale’s Gateway Plaza building early on Oct. 24. Police said the crooks were unable to break into two additional businesses.

Five businesses were victimized the prior weekend in Glenwood Springs. Eighth Street Deli reported losing $7,000 in cash and $3,000 in checks.


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