Con man arrested at Pitkin County Library |

Con man arrested at Pitkin County Library

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times
James Hogue in an Aspen Police Department booking photo from the late 1990s.
Courtesy photo |

Aspen police on Thursday arrested the 57-year-old man they suspect has been living in a makeshift cabin on Shadow Mountain possibly for the last two years, an officer said.

A sharp-eyed patron at the Pitkin County Library spotted James Hogue using a computer in the facility’s basement about noon Thursday and called emergency dispatchers, said Aspen police Officer Dan Davis. The person recognized Hogue from a picture snapped Tuesday by Aspen Skiing Co., employees that published Thursday in both Aspen daily newspapers, he said.

Davis said when he arrived downstairs at the library soon after the call, Hogue’s back was to him and he wasn’t sure if it was him.

“Then he looks over at me,” Davis said, “and I thought, ‘Oh that’s him.’”

Hogue saw Davis’ police uniform “and it was like an ‘Oh crap’ moment for him,” he said. Hogue got up out of his seat, turned away from Davis and began walking away along the back wall of the library, Davis said.

Davis said he followed and asked Hogue to stop and talk to him, which he did. The officer asked if he was Hogue, and Hogue said he wasn’t, according to Davis.

“He said his name was ‘David Bee’ … from Ontario (Canada),” Davis said. “But I knew it was him.”

Hogue had no identification on him and protested when Davis said he was going to arrest him because he believed he was Hogue.

“I said, ‘We’ll figure it out at the jail. If it’s not you, we’ll apologize and let you go on your way,’” Davis said.

Hogue admitted his identity at the Pitkin County Jail, he said.

Hogue was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant from Boulder County charging theft between $750 and $2,000. Aspen police also plan to charge him with criminal impersonation, a felony, Davis said.

Police believe Hogue, a notorious con man who once posed as a high school student when he was 26 years old, built a cabin above the Shadow Mountain Condominiums atop Aspen Street near Lift 1A, and lived there for a year and a half to two years, Detective Jeff Fain has said.

Police and Aspen Skiing Co., employees caught him Tuesday possibly trying to build another shack about 100 feet away from the previous cabin. Fain tried to get Hogue to come down and talk to him, but Hogue disappeared.

Fain said Thursday afternoon he was on his way to interview Hogue at the jail.

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