A man who was working at the Limelight Hotel in Ketchum is facing a felony grand theft charge after allegedly attempting to sell a stolen bike to his co-workers. Alexandru Vezentan, 23, remained in jail as of Thursday with bail set at $15,000 and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday, at which time the judge must find sufficient evidence for the case to be tried as a felony.
According to a probable-cause affidavit, Ketchum Division of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office Officer Allen Compton was called to the hotel on Sept. 30 regarding an alleged bicycle theft. Upon arriving at the hotel, Compton met with a manager who explained that a patron of the hotel reported that his bike had been stolen several days previous, and an employee, Vezentan, was now trying to sell the allegedly stolen bike to his co-workers.
Compton was familiar with the patron who had reported his bike stolen on Sept. 16 because the alleged victim had called police to report the stolen bike, but never completed the statement form, so no case was created at the time of the alleged theft.
The affidavit went on to say that another of Vezentan’s employers had found the bike and placed it in the hotel’s bike storage, and later that day Vezentan went to another employer and was looking for the bike, saying that it belonged to him.
Vezentan was allegedly trying to sell the bike for $2,000-$3,000 according to multiple co-workers, the affidavit stated. When Compton initially questioned Vezentan, he allegedly said he had purchased the bike but upon realizing that it would cost too much money to ship it back to Romania (where he was originally from), he decided to try to sell it before returning home. Vezentan showed Compton the bicycle and Compton identified the bike as the same one that had been stolen by the bike’s serial number and multiple stickers that the bike’s owner had put on it.
The value of the bike, according to the owner, was about $2,000, making the alleged theft a felony because the value was over $1,000.
Once arrested, Vezentan allegedly admitted to Compton that he had lied to him about how he had obtained the bike—originally having said he purchased it at a shop near River Run, and instead said he had “purchased the bicycle three days ago from a guy at the Casino for $200, but couldn’t identify the individual or provide me with any documentation,” the affidavit states.