News

No Tell Hotel

Welcome to the first installment of blog category #258, or, as it's known to civilians, Done Got Burgled. It is here that we hope to dredge life from the Denver police blotter by reporting on crimes and arrests that shape our city — or at least malform it in some barely perceptible way.

It wasn't exactly Murder at the Brown Palace, but something sketchy — and slightly stinky — definitely came down at the historic hotel sometime on the night of January 6. Stinky, because the Brown Palace, with its marble everything and $5,000 Scotches and top hats made of beaver pelt or whatever, reeks of money. Old money. The kind of wealth that sneers at cash as a low-brow accessory best used to wipe one's pimpled hindquarters.

And it may well have been this reeking aura that infected the brain stem of a 24-year-old man from Colorado Springs when he allegedly left a $2,300 necklace inside his Jeep Cherokee as he handed the keys to a hotel valet.

Yes, this tale involves valets, those jingling apparitions in little jackets. It also involves a pair of Nike Shox.

The necklace was an eighteen-inch platinum chain from Tiffany and Co. It was to be a gift, presumably for the young man's girlfriend, who was staying with with him at the hotel. Upon waking the next morning, the couple may have nibbled on fried bull balls and beaver pelts, as is customary among captains of industry. But such is mere speculation.

The following are facts, however, gleaned from the Denver Police Department report. Hotel interlude over, the young man called for his car. It took the valet 28 minutes to bring the car around. And "the valet driver was acting somewhat suspicious," our protagonist told the cops. The valet was about 5' 10", Caucasian, with short brown hair and no facial hair. He was also wearing black Nike Shox.

With sproingy tubes fused to the heels, Shox are this decade's version of Reebok Pumps — only more useless. Why anyone would wear such remarkably stupid-looking footwear is a mystery in itself. But even more odd, all the other valets were wearing dress shoes. So why Shox?

It became clear to the young man and his girlfriend when they got back to El Paso County, and discovered that necklace missing. Also reported gone was a laptop and $20,000 worth of "other credit cards and bank information." The valuables had not been left out in the open, the young man insisted to cops, but secured inside a "wooden box with a lock." Still, after hotel management "refuse to cooperate" in apprehending the suspected culprit, the young man filed a report with the DPD, claiming $23,000 in losses.

Is this young man a victim of the valet conspiracy or a robber baron in training? We report, you sniff it out. Sniff it! —Jared Jacang Maher

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun