Thursday, July 13, 2017

Are you on Nextdoor?

MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is encouraging you to get to know your neighbors! The social media network Nextdoor is making it easier than ever before.

Nextdoor is like Facebook, but it's private and you sign up via your address. Also all of your "friends" are your neighbors!

Residents use Nextdoor to discuss community issues, crime and safety, ask for recommendations, advertise events, or to sell those items collecting dust you've been meaning to get rid of.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office has found the safest neighborhoods are the ones where you know and engage with your neighbors. In this digital age, Nextdoor allows you to do that from the convenience of your phone or home computer.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is on Nextdoor as well. As a law enforcement agency we are not a part of your private neighborhood group instead, we use the social media network like a virtual bulletin board. We can let specific neighborhoods know what is happening in their community. For example, if there are several car break-ins overnight on a street. We can alert people who live in the surrounding neighborhood to the recent criminal activity and offer preventive tips all through Nextdoor.  

We will not be able to "see" your conversations within your community, that is just for you and your neighbors. We will "see" what you comment on our posts or if you directly message us.

Nextdoor is a tool for MCSO to effectively share information on crime prevention and safety, public events, and emergency notifications specifically happening where you live! (Sign up your cell phones for alerts here!)

Nextdoor has really become the new virtual neighborhood watch. Residents are already organizing virtual crime watch through this social media platform and now the Mesa County Sheriff's Office can join the conversation and support residents with information and resources.
Nextdoor is not a replacement for 911, or a place to request emergency services, police services, report criminal or suspicious activity, file a report, etc. If you require emergency services, please call 911.


Learn more about Nextdoor and how to sign up for free here.




Friday, July 7, 2017

Trailheads and boat ramps target for thieves

MESA COUNTY, Colo. - The Mesa County Sheriff's Office wants to remind hikers to not keep valuables in the car while out on the trails. Thieves are once again targeting trailheads and boat ramps in the Valley.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating two different reports of smash and grabs reported from the parking lots of outdoor recreation areas. The unknown suspect(s) are breaking car windows and stealing items from the cars.

One incident occurred on July 3rd in the morning hours  at the Spanish Trailhead and another on July 6th in the evening hours in the parking lot on D road by the Clifton Sewer Facility.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office wants to remind everyone to not leave valuables inside your car while hiking, mountain biking or boating. Any time you leave your car unattended make sure anything inside your car is secure and is not within sight of a would-be thief. 

Two teens found safe after all night search

MESA COUNTY, Colo - Two teens were found safe this morning after spending the night lost on the Grand Mesa.

The two teens were reported missing around 8:30 p.m. Thursday by one of the boys' parents after they didn't return to their campsite from a planned hike around Big Meadows Reservoir.

Mesa County Search and Rescue Ground Team, ATV Team, Communications Team, and Mesa County Rural Area Deputies immediately began searching for the two friends. Resources remained on the Grand Mesa all night.

The teens were located safe and sound early this morning.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office wants to remind the public to always carry plenty of water when going out into the wilderness especially in the summer heat. Also always make a plan of where you are going to hike, bike or recreate and when you plan on returning. Cell phone maps and GPS do not always work on Colorado trails.

When going into the wilderness to recreate make sure you are prepared for the conditions. That includes carrying a CORSAR card. The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue card costs only $3 for 1 year or $12 for 5 years and it helps reimburse for the costs of Search and Rescues. Mesa County does not charge people for rescues. To get your CORSAR card and learn more about the program click here.

Mesa County Search and Rescue Teams are 100% volunteer and relay on donations for training and equipment. To support our local volunteers and learn more about their program click here and here. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

SCAM ALERT: Three people lost hundreds on Jury Duty Warrant Scam

MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is getting more reports of people falling victim to a phone scam where the caller is impersonating a deputy who says you will be arrested if you don't pay up.

This week, three people have lost anywhere from $500-$1,500 each in this SCAM. 

A person is calling people in the county claiming to be a deputy with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. They are using several names, some made up, some of actual deputies. A REAL deputy would NEVER call you to inform you of a warrant out for your arrest. We would just come and arrest you. 

There are two versions of this phone scam hitting the Valley, one the scammer tells the intended victim that they have a warrant for their arrest, the second they are told they missed jury duty and have a summons.

In both cases they are told if they don't take care of the citation by paying money over the phone they will come and arrested them.

The scammer tells them they need to get a Green Dot prepaid cash card for a large sum of money and then call a (970) phone number and give them the number on the card.When you call the number back there is a voice recording saying,"You've reached the Mesa County Sheriff's Department..."

Why people fall victim

It sounds convincing to people because the scammers ask the victims to go to the Sheriff's Office to pay the warrant. Sounds real right? However, BEFORE you go, they ask for the numbers on the PREPAID CARD, to verify you actually did what they said. Well, the TRUTH is all they need are those number to STEAL your money. They don't need the cards, or you to come down the Sheriff's Office. So when you show up to the Sheriff's Office ready to pay.....the scammers already emptied the money from the cards from the far off country they are located in.

The scammer has a lot of details, like asking them to come down to the Sheriff's Office, judges' names, courtroom numbers, citation numbers, even background music to sound convincing, but it is all a FALSE.

THIS IS A SCAM.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office or the Mesa County court system would NEVER contact you by phone and demand money. Anyone who does have an actual warrant for their arrest would be contacted in person.

If someone calls you and asked to be paid buy a PREPAID CARD they are LYING to you. No REAL business or government agency asked people to go to a store to buy something to get paid. We all use good old cash or check.

Remember it's the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, NOT Department and the REAL phone number is (970) 244-3500.

If ever you are contacted and not sure of the caller's legitimacy call the company or Sheriff's Office yourself. Not the phone number they give you, but the one you look up yourself. The Mesa County Sheriff's Office or any other company the scammer is pretending to be will be happy to verify the information for you.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Crime Stoppers: Crime of the Week

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - This week Crime Stoppers needs your help in locating the subjects involved in a theft and burglary. 

Sometime between 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 14th and 6 a.m. on Monday, May 15th, unknown subjects unlawfully entered the Bookcliff Country Club Equipment Shop located at 2730 G Road.

 Once inside, the suspects removed numerous Craftsman and DeWalt hand and power tools, ½” and 3/8” Drive Air Ratchets and a Digital Tachometer. Also, three Motorola radios along with their chargers were removed from a desk. The total estimated property loss is over $4,900. 

If you know the identity or whereabouts of the subjects involved in this crime, please contact Crime Stoppers at 241-7867. Information reported to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest can earn you up to $1,000 cash reward and you will remain completely anonymous. For more information, see us at www.241stop.com. 

GJPD# 2017-29594

Monday, July 3, 2017

Man arrested after road rage incident

MESA COUNTY, Colo - One person is in custody after a road rage incident on I-70 near mile marker 65 early this morning.

Mesa County Sheriff deputies received reports of a vehicle shooting at another car in an apparent road rage incident on I-70 near mile marker 65 around 6:30 this morning.

The circumstances as to how the road rage incident began are still being investigated. The victim's car did sustain one bullet hole during the incident. No one was hurt.

Based on witnesses description deputies where able to identity the suspect's vehicle. Rifle police located it in Rifle and arrested Jared Erdmann, 36, a short time later.

Erdmann is currently being held in the Mesa County Detention Facility. For updated bond amounts on any inmate currently in our jail, visit our Inmate Inquiry System webpage.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fourth of July Independence Monument Climb

Climbing Independence Monument
MESA COUNTY, Colo - Mesa County Sheriff's Office Technical Rescue Team is getting ready for their annual climb up Independence Monument with the American Flag. The all-volunteer search and rescue group will be taking up four guest climbers this year, including two active duty Marines.
Independence Monument

Besides celebrating our nation's independence, this will also raise money for the technical rescue team. The event is sponsored by Rocky Mountain Orthopaedic Associates.

The July 4th flag raising can be viewed at the Book Cliffs View point near the Visitor’s Center or the Independence Monument View Point. It will occur around 11:00 am, but plan on being in place by 10:00 am. Last year, they were early. They are fast climbers!!!!

2016 Fourth of July Climb
.

Two mailboxes vandalized

What's left of mailbox and grass fire
 on 30 Road
MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in identifying the suspect(s) involved in destroying two mailboxes and causing two fires in the process early morning Monday.

Damaged mailbox on 31 Road
Around 1:00 a.m. Monday a mailbox on the 100 block of 31 Road was destroyed by what appeared to be someone setting off fireworks inside it.

A second mailbox was also reported vandalized on the 200 block of 30 Road during the early morning hours Monday. The damage also appeared to be caused by fireworks.

Grass fire on 31 Road
In both incidents, small grass fires were started around the mailboxes, but were quickly put out.

Mesa County is currently under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. The use of person fireworks is a violation of the restrictions. Starting a fire intentionally during Stage 1 Restrictions can result in felony arson charges and fines up to a $100,000.

If anyone has information about these crimes contact the Mesa County Sheriff's Office at (970) 242-6707 or Crime Stoppers at 241-7867. Information reported to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest can earn you up to $1,000 cash reward and you will remain completely anonymous.

UPDATE: In custody


UPDATE: Mesa County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Rodion Hightower, 21, on theft related charges after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Hightower is facing two counts of First Degree Criminal Trespass of an Auto (Class 6 Felony), one count of Identity Theft Fraud (Class 4 Felony), Theft $300-750 from a Motor Vehicle (Class 2 Misdemeanor), Unauthorized use of a Financial Transaction Device (Class 2 Misdemeanor), Criminal Possession of two or more Financial Transaction Devices (Class 6 Felony), Theft $50-$300 from Motor Vehicle (Class 3 Misdemeanor), Theft less than $50 from Motor Vehicle.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office thanks the public for their help identifying this suspect.

Hightower is currently being held in the Mesa County Detention Facility. For updated bond amounts on any inmate currently in our jail, visit our Inmate Inquiry System webpage.
---------------

Previous release:


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect believed to have stolen credit cards from a car in Orchard Mesa.

Credit cards and an undisclosed amount of cash were stolen out of a SUV near the 2800 block of Monroe Lane sometime during between Friday night and Saturday morning.

The suspect is believed to have used the credit cards at Walmart on North Ave. His imagine was captured on video.

The suspect is described as male last seen wearing a black sweater with the lettering "Dazed."

If you recognize this suspect or have any information about this case please call the Mesa County Sheriff's Office at  (970) 242-6707 or Crime Stoppers at (970) 241-STOP. Crime Stoppers also allows you to submit tips online at www.241stop.com as well as through text. Text your tip to CRIMES (274637) and start your message with “241STOP.” Crime Stoppers tips remain anonymous and you could be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

UPDATE: three-year-old child found safe

Esther Topai, 38, 
MCSO photo from 2015
Believed to have taken child
Skyla Trueber, 3
Missing
UPDATE: Skyla Treuber, 3, was found safe. Esther Rose Topai is now in custody.

---------

Previous:

MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in locating a missing three-year-old. Skyla Treuber is believed to be with her mother, Esther Rose Topai, 38, of Grand Junction who is in violation of a court order involving her.

Skyla was last seen April 30, 2017.

Topai is known to drive a black 1994 Cadillac DeVille with the Colorado  license plate 246DMQ.

They are believed to be in the Grand Junction area, but Topai reportedly has ties to Sarasota, Florida, Demorest, Georgia and Billings, Montana.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is following up with law enforcement agencies in those jurisdictions. However, investigators have reason to believe Topai is still in Colorado with Skyla.
Skyla Trueber, 3
Missing

Skyla Trueber, 3
Missing
A warrant has been issued for Topai's arrest for Violation of a Custody Order.

If you see Skyla or Topai call 911 immediately.

Do you recognize this person?

CLIFTON, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in identifying a theft suspect.

The adult male suspect is believed to have stolen items from a Stop & Save Convenience Store on F Road in Clifton on Friday just after 12:30 afternoon.

The suspect was caught on camera. He is described as a Hispanic male, with tattoos on his left arm and a goatee. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with the words "Dallas Cowboys" across the chest and blue jeans.

He was last seen running eastbound on F Road from the store.

If anyone recognizes this suspect or has information about this crime contact the Mesa County Sheriff's Office at (970) 242-6707 or Crime Stoppers at 241-7867. Information reported to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest can earn you up to $1,000 cash reward and you will remain completely anonymous.

Case #17-20386

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions take effect June 23, 2017

MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff, and Bureau of Land Management are implementing Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 23rd. This applies to all of Mesa County including BLM Land with the EXCEPTION of the Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forest. All Mesa County fire departments and fire protection districts are supporting the fire restrictions.

“We don’t make this decision lightly. We know people are beginning to make their plans for the Fourth of July. However, combine the hot and dry weather we’ve already seen with what’s being forecasted, we are very concerned about the significant wildfire potential,” said Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis.

Fire restrictions are implemented based on moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks and human risk factors. The National Weather Service is forecasting above average temperatures and dry conditions in the coming weeks. With increasingly dry vegetation and Fourth of July celebrations approaching, the danger for human caused wildfires increases even more. As a result, during Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, all personal firework use is prohibited and can include penalties up to fourth degree Arson.

This year brush fires continue to pose a threat in rural areas, but are also creating an increasing burden on urban areas and neighborhoods, posing a safety risk to people and property. Dry vegetation in both rural and urban areas can ignite and spread the fire rapidly. So far in June, the Grand Junction Fire Department responded to 6 brush fires and 8 structure fires within city limits.

“Fire safety is everyone’s job. To be a firewise community we depend on every individual to act responsibly during periods of dangerous conditions,” said Grand Junction Fire Chief Ken Watkins. “These restrictions are not optional, they are necessary safety precautions to protect everyone and every home in our community.”

What Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Mean

The restrictions allow fires in fire pits only. While the restrictions do not impact most shooting sports, explosive targets are prohibited. The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit asks the public to be extra cautious when target shooting during fire restrictions.

"We've responded to a lot of human caused fires already and the dryer conditions make it harder to keep wildfires contained," said Jeremy Spetter UCR West Zone, fire management officer. "A lot of vegetation in our area had frost damage and died back. Those fuels are ready to burn." Spetter also cautions that low elevation fuels in nearby counties remain ready to burn.

For the entire county, open burning yard waste or fields is prohibited EXCEPT for agricultural burns with a Sheriff Issued Burn Permit. The Sheriff’s Fire Marshal will conduct an onsite inspection of each planned burn BEFORE a Permit is issued to ensure all safety precautions are met. If they are not met, and conditions do not allow for a safe burn a permit will NOT be issued and any burn by that farmer will be in violation of the fire restrictions in place.

Causing or allowing a fire during fire restrictions can be a class 6 felony and can be punishable by fines up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 18 months. Other possible charges include fourth degree arson and intentionally setting a wildfire.

Conditions will continue to be monitored and restrictions will be adjusted accordingly if conditions change. However, the National Weather Service is predicting a higher probability of a drier than average summer.

Wood fires are never permitted anywhere on the Colorado National Monument.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Two arrested in connection with N. View Drive shooting

MESA COUNTY, Colo - The male arrested Tuesday in connection with Saturday's deadly shooting on N. View Drive will be arraigned in court today on murder charges.

John Stene, 27, is being charged with Murder in the Second Degree, (a Class 2 Felony).

The female passenger detained along with him is identified as 25-year-old Jornai Snodgrass. Snodgrass was arrested on charges of Accessory to a Crime, a Class 4 Felony, and Attempt to Influence a Public Servant, (a Class 4 Felony).

The investigation is still active and ongoing. More charges are expected.

Mugshots are not available for release at this time.

View the preview press release on this case here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

UPDATE: View Drive shooting suspect in custody

MESA COUNTY, Colo - Tuesday afternoon the Mesa County Sheriff's Office arrested the male believed to be the lone suspect in Saturday night's homicide on View Drive.

The 27-year-old male was arrested in the desert off the I-70 Cameo exit by the joint efforts of the Mesa County Sheriff's Office and Grand Junction Police Department SWAT Team. Palisade Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Bureau of Land Management, and the De Beque Marshal's Office also assisted.

A female passenger was also detained for questioning.

Investigators were able to track the male subject to the Cameo area and locate his vehicle on dirt roads in the Coal Canyon area. He and his female passenger were taken into custody without incident.

Investigators believe there are no outstanding suspects in this case.

The investigation is still active and ongoing. Investigators are still conducting interviews with witnesses. Once those are complete, the suspect's identity and photo will be released.

Documents related to the case are still under seal by the courts.

For previous press releases on this case click here.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Overall stats for Country Jam 2017

MESA COUNTY, Colo - The following statistics are from all four days of  Country Jam 2017

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of Colorado State Liquor Enforcement Officers patrolled the four-day festival and made 186 arrests: 186 summons were issued for alcohol violations.

A full breakdown of the underage liquor infractions are listed below.

 Country Jam Stats                                    
2017
 2016
2015
Total                     
186
182
238
                                                              



Minor in Possession/Alcohol Offenses                          
179
155  
228
Procuring Alcohol to a Minor      
8
14
 8
Fake ID                                           
4
10
11
False reporting        
4
1
1
Possession of another’s ID                               
1
0
0
Possession of Marijuana
1
0
0
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
1
0
0
Resisting Arrest           
1
0
0
Obstruction                   
0
1
0
Assault on a peace officer                                 
0
1
0
Attempt to purchase Alcohol                         
0
2
1
Disorderly conduct           
0
1
1
Bringing alcohol onto premises             
0
0
1

Mesa County Sheriff's Deputies also made several arrests during the four-day festival. One person was arrested on a 2nd Degree Assault charge after a fight at the campground, one person was arrested for a DUI, and another was arrested for violating a restraining order. Deputies also investigated a report of a sexual assault and responded to several calls including reports of a fight, theft, trespassing issues, traffic and after-hours loud noise complaints.









Country Jam Stats Day 4 June 17, 2017

MESA COUNTY, Colo - The following statistics are from Day 4 of  Country Jam 2017.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of Colorado State Liquor Enforcement Officers were out patrolling the festival Sunday and made 34 arrests: 34 summons were issued.

A full breakdown of the underage liquor infractions are listed below.

Country Jam Day 4 Stats
2017
2016
2015
Total
34
37
35




At Festival:                                        



Minor in Possession/Alcohol Offenses      
15
16
9
Procuring Alcohol to a Minor        
3
4
0
Fake ID                     
1
1
0
Disorderly Conduct
0
1
0
Attempt to purchase Alcohol                          
0
1
1




At Campground:



Minor in Possession/Alcohol Offenses                
17
18
15
Procuring Alcohol to a Minor                               
0
1
0
Fake ID                                      
0
1
0
False Reporting
0
1
0
Obstructing a peace officer                            
0
1
0

Mesa County Sheriff Deputies also responded to a several calls including a report a trespass and suicidal subject.