ASPEN, Colo. — The Aspen Police Department and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office would like to share notification of a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the recent vandalism and tampering with the city’s natural gas system.
On Saturday, December 26, 2020, around 8:30 p.m., Black Hills Energy was notified of low gas pressure at a location in Aspen and began investigating the cause. Later that evening, at approximately 9:30 p.m., the Aspen Police Department responded to a resident’s concerns about “unnatural sounds at a gas pump station” and determined tampering occurred at that site. Subsequently, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office identified two additional locations of similar activity in the county.
A total of three locations were tampered with, resulting in disruption to gas service for the entire City of Aspen and requiring Black Hills Energy to shut off approximately 3,500 gas meters for safety reasons. Investigators recovered physical evidence from all three scenes, including graffiti scrawled on the pipeline equipment referencing “Earth First!” Investigators continue to work with the community, local, state and federal partners, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, to find those responsible for this criminal activity. The joint investigation into this incident is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact Aspen Police Department at 970-920-5400 or email Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous information accepted.