By Logan Smith

PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — The City of Aspen and the Pitkin County Sheriff together have made $10,000 available to the person or persons who provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for disrupting natural gas service to thousands of residences the night after Christmas.

About 3,500 homes were affected Dec. 26th after trespassers tampered with valves at three different Black Hills Energy natural gas sites.

The activity required Black Hills to shut down the system entirely, re-pressurize it, test it, and then go house to house to re-light individual appliances.

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“They immediately noticed that some of the valves on some of the gas lines had been turned off and of course that doesn’t happen by accident, that was an intentional act,” Bill Linn, Assistant Chief of Police for Aspen, told CBS4.

(credit: City of Aspen)

Some homes were still without service four days after the incident.

Black Hill Energy provided 4,000 space heaters to residents in an effort to keep pipes from freezing in unheated homes.

(credit: City of Aspen)

Investigators found a message scribbled on a portion of pipeline suggesting responsibility for the act. , but the city and sheriff’s office said in a joint press release they aren’t convinced the graffiti could be a deception.

Authorities also recovered other evidence from all three sites, according to the press release. But no description of that evidence was provided.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security are assisting state and local authorities in the criminal investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Aspen Police Department at 970-920-5400 or email Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office at tips@pitkinsheriff.com.

 

 

Logan Smith