Three Copper Mountain Ski Resort employees have been arrested in the theft of more than $6,400 of US Ski Team gear, authorities said Tuesday.
The three men arrested Friday are accused of stealing US Ski Team jackets, gloves, hats and UnderArmour clothing, said Summit County sheriff's spokeswoman Tracy LeClair.
US Ski Team officials said the gear was brand new. But when the ski clothing was recovered it was found to be mostly unusable because the thieves had damaged it trying to remove ski team logos, according to LeClair.
Following an investigation by Copper Mountain security officials and sheriff's deputies, authorities arrested William Walker Lancaster III, 23; Ryan Allen Lundquist, 23 and James Neal Callahan,24, according to LeClair. The three men live in the Foxpine Inn, a slopeside condominium at Copper Mountain.
All three were charged with felony theft, which is punishable by a maximum six years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine. Lancaster and Lundquist were released on a $7,500 bond; Callahan was released on a $2,500 bond.
US Ski Team officials noticed the items were missing about 7 p.m. Thursday, LeClair said.
The next afternoon, a resort security official questioned the trio about the missing gear and subsequently located a majority of the items in Lancasters Foxpine apartment, LeClair said. Several additional items were retrieved from a Dumpster.
After further questioning, Lancaster and Lundquist admitted they removed the equipment from the US Ski Team conference room, while Callahan stayed outside the room as a lookout, LeClair said.
"You've got to give Copper Mountain security credit," she said. "They were on top of it right away and
they pretty much were able to wrap up the case right off the bat, which definitely helps."
On his Myspace page, Callahan wrote: "I currently live in Copper Mountain, Colorado. I am working as a bus driver, so I will be doing that until the end of April. It's a way cool job. I live 100 yards from the ski lifts, so life is good."
On his Facebook page, Lundquist said he's a "Lifty" -- or lift operator -- at the resort. LeClair said Lancaster also worked at the resort.
The U.S. Ski Team invested millions to open a new training center at Copper Mountain on Nov. 1. It includes a 2-mile downhill training run.
It was a big plum for Copper to tout itself as the training mountain for Olympic gold medalists such as Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, Bode Miller and Ted Ligety.
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