Jason Takeshi Kawaguchi, age 40, was arrested in June after Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies allegedly caught him stealing a pair of skis from A-Basin. An investigation was launched into the incident, which included a search of Kawaguchi’s home and revealed evidence of a much bigger string of thefts throughout Summit and Boulder counties. Summit Daily reports Kawaguchi is accused of stealing more than 70 pairs of skis from Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and other resorts around Colorado.
On June 1, 2019, deputies were dispatched to A-Basin after a pair of skis were stolen. A-Basin’s security team provided a video of the incident that showed the victim placing the skis on the rack outside of the Kids Center just after 8 a.m., and then a man picking them up 30 minutes later, walking behind the building and stuffing them in a ski bag. Employees suspected the man was Kawaguchi and searched the premises before calling the cops.
On June 23, deputies were called out again to A-Basin after a member of their security team witnessed a man getting out of his truck in ski boots but not carrying any other equipment and 15 minutes later the same man was seen with a set of skis. Shortly after that, the man left again and came back with another set of skis.
The security guard took down Kawaguchi’s license plate number but didn’t confront him because he had to respond to other reports of ski thefts. Later he told the deputies four people reported having their skis stolen from 10-11:30 a.m. The license plate number provided deputies with a major break in the case. Using his DMV info the cops compared Kawaguchi’s photo with security footage of the June 1 theft.
On June 29, Kawaguchi was seen at A-Basin and security called the deputies. One Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputy was already on scene and allegedly witnessed Kawaguchi stealing a pair of skis firsthand. He was taken into custody. While temporarily locked up, deputies noticed he appeared to be wearing the same jacket as the man who was recorded during the first theft.
Deputies with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on Kawaguchi’s home, and recovered 74 pairs of skis, including some already being investigated in the case, and several more that were likely stolen from Eldora Mountain.
Kawaguchi is charged with felony theft. He appeared on bond to a hearing Wednesday afternoon at the Summit County Justice Center. The case was continued so that he could complete a mental health assessment. He’s scheduled to return to court March 5.images from SummitSheriffCO FB& A-BASIN FB