An alleged snowboard thief was apprehended Friday night at Ski Sundown.
According to State Police Troop B, just before 8 p.m. a juvenile male was seen with a stolen snowboard. He was arrested and later charged with fifth degree larceny. State police had no further comment on the arrest Monday.
Snowboard theft has been a pervasive problem this season. State police recently released a public warning regarding the spate of thefts at both ski mountains in the Northwest Corner.
After a 43-year old Wilton woman, a 14-year old Brookfield boy, and a 14-year old Monroe boy reported snowboards thefts at Mohawk Mountain ski area in Cornwall on Jan. 24, Trooper Shawn Prusinowski asked the public for assistance.
"The Mohawk Mountain ski area has suffered numerous thefts of snowboards over the past two days," Prusinowski said. "Patrons of ski areas are urged to lock their equipment up at all times. Anyone with information is asked to call Troop B at 1-800-497-0403."
According to ski mountain operators, the problem exists all over the country. Thieves are not easily detected. Often, a thief will dress like a skier and just walk up to areas to take unsecured equipment. Fellow skiers and snowboarders are often completely unaware of what equipment belongs to whom.
"The problem is not an industry problem at all- itís a user problem," Mohawk Mountain President Carol Lugar said.
In December, three thefts just after the season kicked off seemed to be an ill omen. Sure enough, in January state police responded to nine snowboard thefts at Mohawk and Ski Sundown.
According to Gregorio Pools, Spas, and Skis in Torrington, snowboards are a big-ticket item. Acomplete snowboard package can range in price from $500 to $1,000.
"We highly recommend a leash or cable lock," sales representative Geoff Matous said. "Thereís no excuse not to have one."
Leash and cable locks are compact and easy to carry. At a fraction of the price of a new snowboard package, the $20 cost for security is a valuable investment, said Matous.
"We have signs posted everywhere. We highly recommend skiers and snowboarders pay attention," Mohawk Mountain Office Manager Kirsten Peterson said. "Itís expensive equipment. Be responsible, lock it up."
"Itís like locking your doors. You just canít afford to forget about it," added Matous