Friday, April 20, 2018

Update: Skipper Island Fire Day 3

5:00 pm Final Update: The Skipper Island Fire is now 100% contained. Crews will continue to monitor the fire for flare ups over the next several days. I70 is currently closed in both directions to allow Xcel crews to repair power lines damaged by the fire. Check with CDOT for the latest information on road closures.

2:00 pm UPDATE: Significant progress has been made on the Skipper Island Fire. Total acreage is 220 acres. The fire area north of I-70 is 100% contained. The fire area south of I-70 is 70% contained.


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MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Skipper Island Fire is still actively burning south of I70 and north of the Colorado River. I70 was closed again Friday morning when winds flared up the fire again near the interstate. I70 is now back open as of 8:30 am.

The fire on the north side of I70 is 90% contained. The fire on the south side of I70 is 30% contained.

As of Thursday afternoon the fire burned 50 acres, it has grown since then. This morning crews are assessing the current acreage. We will post an update once one is available.

No structures or home are being threatened by the fire. NO evacuations are anticipated.

Many agencies have worked countless hours in very difficult conditions to contain this fire. Those agencies include the Mesa County Sheriff Wildland Fire Team, Lower Valley Fire District, BLM, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Grand Junction Fire Department, De Beque Fire Department, Palisade Fire Department, Clifton Fire Department, East Orchard Mesa Fire Department, Plateau Valley Fire Department, Xcel Energy, Grand Valley Power, Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Colorado State Patrol, Frutia Police Department, CDOT and other partner agencies.

Today winds are again expected to be a challenge for firefighters. Air drops from the Type I helicopter will resume at 9:00 am. Today crews from the Mesa County Sheriff Wildland Fire Team, Lower Valley Fire District, Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Grand Junction Fire Department, De Beque Fire Department, Palisade Fire Department are fighting the fire.

There is smoke in the area and will continue to be for sometime. It is advised to stay indoors and limit your outdoor activity, especially if you have respiratory issues. For a full list of recommendations from the Mesa County Department of Public Health click here.

Also thank you to the public for donations of food and water to the firefighters. We have plenty of food and water and are not seeking any more.

Please be aware, no fire agency associated with the Skipper Island Fire is soliciting donations for gift cards or money to help with this fire. If you see someone asking for gift cards or money, it could be a scam.

For the previous press release click here.

For photos, video and the latest information on the fire follow the Mesa County Sheriff's Office Facebook Page.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Skipper Island Fire now 12 acres

Skipper Island Fire Wednesday night
Update 1:00pm: The Skipper Island Fire is now 15-20 acres with 0% containment. No homes or structures are being threatened. View the MCSO Facebook page for more photos.




MESA COUNTY, Colo - Mesa County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a wildfire burning south of I-70 and north of the Colorado River near mile marker 18 around 7:00 pm Wednesday. The fire is burning in an area known as Skipper Island in the Horsethief Canyon State Wildlife Area.

Skipper Island Fire has burned 12 acres and is 0% contained.

Initial response included Lower Valley Fire Protection District, the Mesa County Sheriff Wildland Team and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Firefighters were pulled from the fire at 11:00 pm due to unsafe conditions caused by darkness.

Fire crews are continuing to suppress the wildfire today. The fire is very difficult to access burning in thick brush, tamarisk and trees. Winds are expected to pick up this afternoon. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning from noon to 9:00pm tonight.

The agencies working the Skipper Island Fire Thursday include the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Wildland Fire Team, Lower Valley Fire District, BLM, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Grand Junction Fire Department.

No homes are structures are threatened by the fire.

The fire is believed to have been caused by a campfire.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Grand Junction Woman wanted for eluding law enforcement

Elizabeth Tafoya, 42
MCSO Photo
MESA COUNTY, Colo – Elizabeth Tafoya, 42, is wanted for eluding law enforcement in the early morning hours Friday.

Just after midnight, a Mesa County Sheriff’s deputy observed Tafoya run through a stop sign in the area of North Avenue and Morning Glory Lane in a green 1993 Toyota passenger car. When the deputy attempted to pull her over, Tafoya took off at a high rate of speed on 29 Road.

A short time later, Tafoya’s vehicle was spotted driving recklessly near the intersection of Texas Avenue and Melody Lane by another deputy.  Tafoya again failed to yield to law enforcement.

Tafoya was observed several times driving recklessly by deputies in the area,  at one point driving down the wrong side of the road, and two times appearing to try to hit a patrol vehicle.

Colorado State Patrol assisted in locating Tafoya’s vehicle and pursued it into the 2900 block of Texas Avenue, where she drove through a chain link fence and continued south bound through the dirt lot north of the Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Tafoya vehicle did collide with a Colorado State Patrol Vehicle, Tafoya did not stop.

Tafoya is wanted for 2 counts of Felony Vehicular Eluding, Aggravated Driving with a revoked driver status, habitual traffic offender, 2 counts of Attempted Vehicular Assault, Disregarding a traffic control device, Failure to yield at a stop sign, Criminal Mischief, and Failure to remain at the scene of an accident.

Tafoya seen driving away
from law enforcement
Tafoya also has two active warrants from unrelated cases.    

Tafoya was last seen driving in a green 1993 Toyota passenger car  in the area of 28 Road and I-70 Business Loop.


If you see Tafoya or have information as her to whereabouts call 911 or you can call Mesa County Crime Stoppers at (970) 241- STOP. 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.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Crime Stoppers: Crime of the Week


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - The Grand Junction Police Department is requesting information that will lead to the identification of the suspect involved in criminal activity. 

Shortly after 2:40 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28, 2017, an unknown female entered Wells Fargo Bank located at 359 Main Street and withdrew $8,000 from an elderly victim’s bank account. A photo of the female can be viewed at www.241stop.com.

If you know the identity or whereabouts of the suspect 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, visit www.241stop.com. 

GJPD# 2018-9229

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Rosevale fire origin and cause determined

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff's Office Fire Marshal working with the Grand Junction Fire Department, has determined the origin and cause of the Rosevale Fire.

A person has come forward and claimed responsibility for starting the fire. Their account of what happened is consistent with eyewitness statements and evidence found at the origin of the fire.

The fire began at a property in Grand Junction city limits, on the 2500 block of D Road.  The person who claimed responsibility was trying to fix a flat tire on a riding lawnmower when tall grass ignited. The dry brush and winds quickly turned a spark into an out-of-control fire.

While neighbors called 911, the person responsible helped slow the progress of the fire until firefighters arrived.  The strong winds associated with Monday’s Red Flag warning pushed the fire rapidly to the east into the surrounding community forcing evacuations.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office will be referring the case to the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office to determine the appropriate charge. No arrests have been made at this time. The person's name will be released once charges are filed. 

Thank you to everyone who sent in photos and videos of the early stages of the Rosevale fire. We are no longer seeking any more information from the public about the fire.

The case remains active and under investigation. 


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Damage assessment from the Rosevale fire


Aerial view of Rosevale Fire
#Update:

The Rosevale fire burned across 7 properties in Grand Junction and unincorporated Mesa County totaling approximately 10 acres. It destroyed a manufactured double wide mobile home that multiple families called home. The fire also burned across a field with multiple vehicles. Several outbuildings were also destroyed.

The American Red Cross is currently assisting 7 displaced adults. 
GJFD photo of how close
the Rosevale Fire got to this home

The investigation into the origin and cause of the fire is ongoing.

Anyone with information, video or photographs related to the start of the fire is asked to contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at Fireinfo@MesaCounty.us or call us at (970) 244-3919.

 
Map of Rosevale Fire

Rosevale Fire investigation

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo -The Mesa County Fire Marshal is working with the Grand Junction Fire Department to determine the cause and origin of the Rosevale Fire.

The Division of Fire Prevention and Control is assisting with mapping the fire and taking aerial photographs.  

Crews are still assessing the damage from the fire.  Multiple structures have burned, including at least one home.

Determining the cause and origin of the fire will take time.  The first reports of flames came into Grand Junction Regional Communication Center at 7:27 p.m. Monday.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information from the public about how and where this fire started. 


Anyone with information, video or photographs related to the start of the fire is asked to contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at Fireinfo@MesaCounty.us or call us at (970) 244-3919. 

Monday night 363 homes were successfully evacuated through the emergency notification system. By following those evacuation recommendations we have no reported injuries at the time of this release.
Citizens wanting to receive evacuation notifications on their cell phones can register through the emergency notification system.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

MCSO investigates home invasion robbery

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo – The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a home invasion robbery that occurred overnight on the 400 block of Mountain Drive in Grand Junction.

At 1:42 a.m. deputies responded to a report of two males breaking into a home and assaulting the homeowner. The two suspects fled in an unknown direction before deputies arrived.

The homeowners told investigators they were sleeping when two masked men entered their home through an unlocked window. The husband was attacked and the family was held at gunpoint while the suspects demanded money. They searched the home and one suspect fired his gun. The husband sustained minor abrasions from the assault.

This is not believed to be a random crime. Investigators believe the victims were intentionally targeted by the suspects and are believed to be known to the victims.

The suspects are described as two African American males, last seen wearing bandanas over their faces, with black hoodies.

Investigators are actively interviewing people believed to be involved in this crime or have knowledge regarding the incident.

This case is still under investigation.

If you have any information about this crime contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Witness Tip Line at (970) 244-3526.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Crime Stoppers: Crime of the Week







GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - The Grand Junction Police Department needs your help to identify the male subject involved in criminal activity.

About 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 8th, the victim left his credit cards on the customer service counter at City Market located at 2600 N. 12th Street. Shortly after, a male suspect approximately 55-65 years old with dark hair and mustache and last seen wearing an Army baseball cap took the credit cards and made several purchases. The suspect was last seen leaving in an older model gold colored Dodge Caravan that had significant damage on the rear passenger side.

If you know the identity or whereabouts of the suspect 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# 2018-7977

Monday, March 12, 2018

MCSO assists in recovering stolen snow cat


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - Sunday evening the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Eagle County Sheriff's Office about the possible location of a stolen General Lee snow cat from Minturn earlier in the morning.

When deputies tried to contact 27-year-old Jason Cuervo at a home on the 1800 block of Deer Park Cir in reference to the stolen property, he did not comply with commands and barricaded himself inside the home.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and Grand Junction Police Department SWAT Teams assisted in safely executing the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office’s search warrant overnight.

A community notification went out to 55 residences in the surrounding community to shelter-in-place as a precaution.

Cuervo was not located, however the stolen snow cat was recovered. Weapons, ammunition, drugs and drug paraphernalia were also recovered.

Cuervo also has several outstanding warrants for his arrest to include felony warrants. Cuervo is described as a 27-year-old white male, 180 pounds, and  6'1" tall. If seen please contact 911.

For more information regarding the stolen snow cat please contact the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

The case is still under investigation.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

MCSO arrests wanted Fruita man in Glade Park

Jixi Kruckenberg, 36
MCSO Photo 5-21-17
GLADE PARK, Colo – Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Jixi Kruckenberg, 36, in Glade Park Tuesday morning.

Kruckenberg was wanted for running from deputies in January after he absconded from parole.

At 7:22 am a Glade Park resident spotted Kruckenberg at the entrance to his property on DS Road, about 4 miles west of the Glade Park Store. The vehicle he was driving in had run out of gas and was blocking the entrance to the property.  Deputies have since learned that vehicle was stolen out of Utah.

Deputies were called in and they arrested Kruckenberg. He was transported to the Mesa County Detention Facility.

Kruckenberg’s charges include Vehicular Eluding (Class 5 Felony), and Escape From Felony Conviction (Class 3 Felony). He also has felony warrants out of the Grand Junction Police Department and Parole.

For updated bond amounts on any inmate currently in our jail, visit our Inmate Inquiry System webpage.

Monday, March 5, 2018

MCSO Welcomes new Undersheriff

Sheriff Matt Lewis administering the 
oath of office to now Undersheriff Todd Rowell.
MESA COUNTY, Colo - In front of colleagues, deputies, family, and friends, Capt. Todd Rowell was sworn in as the Undersheriff for the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office this afternoon.

Rowell is a native of Colorado, raised in a small coal mining town on the Western Slope. After High School, he joined the United States Marine Corps. During his four years in the military he received numerous awards including Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year and the Navy Achievement Medal.

Following his enlistment in the military, Undersheriff Rowell attended both the Corrections Academy and the Police Academy at The Delta-Montrose Technical College. He graduated at the top of his class at the Police Academy in 2000 and was hired by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office the same year.

While working as a Sergeant in The Professional Standards Unit, Undersheriff Rowell continued his education at Colorado Mesa University and earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration. He is a graduate of County Sheriffs of Colorado’s Command Staff Institute and Northwestern University’s Supervision of Police Personnel.
Sheriff Matt Lewis and Undersheriff Todd Rowell

During his 17 years with the Sheriff’s Office he has served in various leadership positions and received several awards including two life-saving medals. He also served six years as the President of the Mesa County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Along with his wife and two kids, they are proud to call Mesa County their home.

Rowell assumes the position of Undersheriff following Undersheriff Rusty Callow retirement after 37 years of distinguished service in law enforcement.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

No Evidence of Threat to Local Schools

Mesa County, Colo. - Over the past several days, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office has been made aware of potential threats made on social media, against several schools in the Grand Valley. School Resource Officers, working with District 51 Security, have investigated the potential threats and concluded that although a threat had been made, it was not a school in Mesa County. It was not until the initial threat was circulated amongst District 51 students that local schools were mentioned.

All local law enforcement agencies take any threat against a school or students very seriously and will do everything within their legal authority to investigate the threat fully. School Resource Officers will continue to monitor social media for any threats or mention of threats. Students and parents are reminded any concerns or possible threat can be reported directly to your local law enforcement agency or anonymously at Safe2Tell. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Crime Stoppers: Crime of the Week




GRAND JUNCTION, Colo -  This week Crime Stoppers needs your help to locate the persons involved in criminal activity.

Sometime between January 11-13th, two personal checks were stolen from a residential mailbox in the 2700 block of F ½ Road. About 5 p.m. on Friday, January 13th, an unknown female entered Alpine National Bank and attempted to cash one of the personal checks which had been altered.

If you know the identity or whereabouts of the persons 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# 2018-3761


Sunday, February 11, 2018

UPDATE 7:25 pm: MCSO Investigating Death

MESA COUNTY, COLO. - At 9:25 am, Deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office responded to 532 Placer Drive in reference to an assault. When Deputies arrived they found a 30-year-old Hispanic male deceased.  Investigators are currently working to identify the cause of the death. The Sheriff's Office is currently not looking for anyone else related to the incident.

Further information will be released when it becomes available.

UPDATE: 02/11/18 @ 7:25 pm: Mesa County Sheriff's Investigators have arrested Elias Trevino Hernandez, age 31, of Grand Junction, in connection with the fatal assault which occurred at 532 Placer Street. Hernandez is being held at the Mesa County Detention Facility, on a no bond warrant, for the following charges:

Elias Trevino Hernandez, 31
MCSO Photo July 20, 2017
First Degree Murder - a Class 1 Felony
Second Degree Murder - a Class 2 Felony
First Degree Assault - a Class 3 Felony
First Degree Burglary - a Class 3 Felony

Hernandez is being held on an additional three felony warrants and one misdemeanor warrant, not associated with this case.

Additional information on this case will be released as it becomes available.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Grand Junction man arrested after stolen camper found

Bryan Johnson, 41
MCSO Photo
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies recovered a stolen 32-foot camper trailer at a property on the 1300 block of N 23rd St. Wednesday afternoon.

Bryan Johnson, 41, of Grand Junction was arrested for the following charges:
  • First Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft (Class 4 Felony) 
  • Possession of Weapons by a Previous Offender (Class 5 Felony)
  • Possession of a Dangerous or Illegal Weapon (Class 5 Felony)
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (Class 4 Felony)
While Johnson was being taken into custody, two deputies were bit by two dogs on the property. The deputies were treated for minor injuries.

Animal Control cited the owners for failure to control the dogs and is continuing to investigate the incident.

Johnson was booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility and is being held on a $2,000 Bond.

For updated bond amounts on any inmate currently in our jail, visit our Inmate Inquiry System webpage.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Grand Junction man arrested on 21 counts of sex crimes on a child

John Frank Martinez Jr, 59
 MCSO Photo
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo – Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies arrested John Frank Martinez Jr, 59, of Grand Junction Monday evening after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Martinez is accused of engaging in unlawful sexual acts with a child from alleged incidents that occurred between 2009 and December of 2017.

Martinez was arrested on the following charges:
  • 7 counts of Sexual Assault on a Child by one in a Position of Trust, Pattern of abuse (Class 3 Felony)
  • 7 counts of Sexual Assault on a Child, Pattern of Abuse (Class 3 Felony)
  • 7 counts of Aggravated Incest (Class 3 Felony)
The case is still under investigation.

Martinez was booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility and is being held on a No Bond Hold.

For updated bond amounts on any inmate currently in our jail, visit our Inmate Inquiry System webpage.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Alert: Use caution when mailing out personal checks


MESA COUNTY, Colo - Beware of mailing personal checks using individual mailboxes at the end of residential driveways. The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating reports of check fraud after mail was stolen from area mailboxes before the postal service could come collect it.

Investigators believe someone is taking checks from mailboxes and then altering the checks to withdrawal money from the victim’s bank account. Mailboxes that do not have locks and have the red flags that indicate mail is waiting to be picked up are being targeted.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating two cases of check fraud that originated from stolen mail in the area of 29 ½ road between Patterson and Orchard Ave. The thefts occurred on separate occasions, one in November and the other in December with the fraudulent activity not showing up on the victims accounts right away.

Tips
  • Avoid mailing out personal checks using mailboxes that are not secured with a key. Instead use a designated post office location.
  • Check your bank account activity regularly and report any unusual activity.
If you have any information about this crime or if you believe you are victim contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 242-6707.

MCSO Case #17-42122

Friday, January 5, 2018

UPDATE: MCSO continues to seek man in Glade Park area

Jixi Kruckenberg, 36
MCSO Photo
GLADE PARK, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to seek out Jixi Kruckenberg, 36, who ran from deputies Thursday afternoon.

In addition to increasing patrols, deputies are working with homeowners in the Glade Park area to search vacant properties.

It’s possible Kruckenberg has already left the immediate area, however, residents are still advised to keep their doors, windows and cars locked. Drivers are advised to not pick up hitchhikers.

Kruckenberg is wanted for absconding from parole. He ran from deputies in a white GMC pickup truck Thursday afternoon. Kruckenberg’s truck was found unoccupied at a property near 10 ¾ Road and BS Road Thursday evening.

Mesa County Sheriff deputies will be seeking additional charges including Vehicular Eluding, Criminal Trespassing, and Criminal Mischief as the investigation into Kruckenberg’s location continue.

Kruckenberg is considered armed and dangerous. If you see Kruckenberg or have information about his whereabouts call 911 immediately.

For the previous press release click here.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

ALERT: Man wanted after running from deputies

Jixi Kruckenberg, 36
MCSO Photo
UPDATE: MCSO has lifted the shelter in place for Glade Park residents living within a 5 mile radius of 10 ¾ Road and BS Road. Residents are still advised to keep their doors and windows locked.

Deputies located and recovered the White GMC pickup truck Jixi Kruckenberg, 36, was believed to be driving in.

After a thorough search of the area and surrounding properties where the truck was found, Kruckenberg was not located.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office will be increasing patrols in the area.

Kruckenberg is considered armed and dangerous.

If residents see Kruckenberg or any suspicious activity they are asked to call 911 immediately.
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#UPDATE: MCSO has located Kruckenberg's truck in the Glade Park area. Deputies are still searching for Kruckenberg.

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Previous:

GLADE PARK, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is currently looking for Jixi Kruckenberg, 36, who is a parole absconder. He ran away from deputies this afternoon and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Kruckenberg is currently believed to be in the Glade Park area traveling in a White GMC pickup truck with Wyoming license plates.

An emergency notification was sent out advising residents living within a 5 mile radius of 10 ¾ Road and BS Road to shelter in place.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Fruita Police Department, and the Grand Junction Police Department are in the area looking for Kruckenberg.

If you see Kruckenberg or have information about his whereabouts call 911 immediately.