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There’s now a $10,000 reward for good information on the Christmas weekend gas-line vandalism in Aspen. If you know anything that may help apprehend those responsible, call the Aspen Police Department at 970-920-5400 or email the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office at tips@pitkinsheriff.com

Roughly 3,500 customers were without gas or heat after vandals tampered with valves at three natural gas stations in and around Aspen Dec. 26, leaving Black Hills Energy scrambling to shut down the system, re-pressurize it, then go door-to-door to relight appliances. The company dispatched 170 technicians to restore service.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security joined local law enforcement on the case, and officials have said that whoever carried out the vandalism had some knowledge of how the gas systems operate. “Earth First!” was scrawled at two of the sites, but to date there haven’t been any arrests in conjunction with the group. Generally characterized as a radical environmental coalition, the group formed in 1979 and has a history of sabotage in the name of the environment.

Black Hills delivered 4,000 space heaters to the Aspen area Dec. 28, but there was a gap where thousands of people were without heat. Christmas week is typically one of the coldest and busiest of the year in Aspen, and COVID-19 restrictions put warming centers out of the question. Some customers remained without gas service four days after the incident.

Law enforcement is continuing to seek tips from the public on the identity of the vandals.