Mesa County, Colo. -- Patrol deputies took a report of a rental car window being smashed out while the car was parked yesterday at Rattlesnake Canyon Trail Head. The rental car was being used by two European vacationers who had everything for their camping and hiking trip in the car when they headed out earlier in the day for a majestic experience in Western Colorado.
What they found on their return was more than $4,000.00, in personal items stolen, leaving them with only the clothes on their back. Their camping tent and sleeping bags were left at their camp site in the Colorado National Monument and they had a few personal items, like money and passports with them in a small backpack they kept with them during their hike. But a change of clean clothes, a windbreaker jacket or some non-sweaty shoes and socks...forget it. All stolen by a thief who took advantage of the remote location of the trail head parking lot.
Andres Haller and his girlfriend Natacha Noirclere, both 53, of Stuttgart, Germany, spent the night in a hotel in Fruita. And with the assistance of a Sheriff's Office Victim Advocate, they spent most of today refilling prescriptions and getting a new rental car. That wasn't enough for patrol deputy Ben Marsh, who took their report last night and couldn't shake the unbelievable turn of events for this couple vacation through the most beautiful parts of our Country.
Deputy Marsh and Sandy, our agency victim advocate, were strong in their conviction that this very unique circumstance and unfortunate situation could be slightly remedied with some assistance in replacing clothing and and hygiene items that would allow them to finish their vacation. Insert social media and local media, who through a simple message about this situation on Facebook (posted at 10:30 p.m.) turned the word out to our community that these two travelers needed some Western Slope hospitality.
The Sheriff's Office has collected $730 in cash, multiple suitcases, hygiene items and some basic clothing. The Records staff at our agency's front counter graciously started collecting and answering citizen questions, pitching in with enthusiasm to help this couple, as well. The largest thank you goes out to our community and our local media, Town Square Media radio, MBC radio, KKCO/KJCT and KREX, along with the Daily Sentinel newspapers who all put the word out early this morning about this unfortunate experience.
Donations will still be accepted until 2:30 p.m. today, at the Sheriff's Office main lobby, located at 215 Rice Street, Grand Junction. Any donated items that don't get used by our travelers will be donated to a local charity. We sincerely thank everyone who assisted us in showing Natacha and Andres what our community really stands for. The pharmacy in Walgreens, Fruita, spent a considerable about of time assisting this couple with replacing their stolen prescriptions and Operation Interdependence donated a large amount of hygiene items. Please thank these organizations next time you see them for their efforts.