Rental store employee guilty of theft from shop

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— A ski rental shop employee who pleaded guilty to stealing equipment from his employer has been sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation, 16 hours of community service and $238 in fines and court costs. Routt County Judge James Garrecht suspended a six-month jail sentence, provided that David Douglas Apple meets the conditions of his probation.

Apple was originally charged with felony theft, but pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge.

Apple worked at Steamboat Ski Rentals in Gondola Square this ski season until he was arrested on Feb. 21, when Steamboat Ski Corp. security officers found four snowboards, two pairs of skis and a pair of snowshoes at his Walton Pond apartment. The equipment was valued at $3,000.

Apple told the judge on Tuesday that the missing items have been returned to the store.

Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing said Apple admitted to "borrowing" the ski equipment, some of which had been gone from the store for up to one month.

Steamboat Ski Rentals employees are allowed to sign out equipment for the day, but not overnight, Fiebing said. Apple reportedly signed out a K2 snowboard and didn't return it. He admitted to taking other equipment and said he just hadn't returned it yet.

"He said it was a hassle to borrow equipment because the managers wouldn't always let employees sign them out in case customers wanted them," Fiebing said.

Apple was fired and given three days to move out of his ski corp. employee housing, Fiebing said.


-- To reach Michelle Bales call 871-4208 or e-mail mbales@amigo.net

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