A Boulder man who was accused of stealing more than 70 pairs of skis from Arapahoe Basin, CO and other ski areas around the state, has pleaded guilty to felony theft. Jason Takeshi Kawaguchi, 40, from Boulder, CO appeared virtually on Thursday, May 28, for a disposition hearing and accepted a plea agreement in the case, Summit Daily reports.
Kawaguchi was arrested in January after deputies allegedly discovered him stealing a pair of skis from Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. The subsequent investigation led to the discovery of a much bigger string of thefts throughout Summit and Boulder counties.
Back in June 2019, deputies were dispatched to A-Basin to investigate a report of stolen skis. CCTV footage showed the owner of the skis standing them in a rack and an unknown man them picking them up 30-minutes later. The suspect, believed to be Kawaguchi, placed the skis in a ski bag.
Three weeks later, deputies were again called to the resort on reports of ski theft. A man in ski boots, but without other equipment, was acting suspiciously. A member of the A-Basin security team saw him return to his vehicle with different pairs of skis and called the police, making sure to note the license plate. Four people reported having their skis stolen in a 90-minute period that day.
The license plate led deputies with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office to execute a search warrant on Kawaguchi’s home where they discovered 74 pairs of skis, including pairs that that had also been reported stolen from Eldora Mountain, according to reports.
Kawaguchi was charged with felony theft at the time and pleaded guilty to class-5 felony theft during yesterday’s hearing. His sentence hearing is scheduled for July 5th, although the plea agreement did say that he would avoid a jail term.