Joint Investigation Leads to Arrests in String of Auto Thefts #GVCopBeat

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A joint effort between the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the Grand Junction Police Department has led to the identification and arrest of subjects alleged to be involved in a string of auto thefts from the Front Range to the Western Slope.

Over the last week, officers and deputies in Mesa County took four reports of auto thefts, all involving similar circumstances.  Each vehicle was stolen from a local gym, with the keys taken from an unsecured locker.  In all cases, the license plates on the stolen vehicle were swapped with license plates stolen from a different vehicle.

On November 11, deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office were alerted via the car’s GPS tracking that one of the stolen vehicles was believed to be in the Clifton area.  The stolen vehicle was located, and was displaying stolen license plates.  The subjects associated to the stolen vehicle were contacted and interviewed.  They are identified as Hannah Johnson, 21, of Grand Junction, and Kobe Taylor, 18, of Fruita.  Through the course of the investigation, law enforcement was able to identify two additional suspects in the auto theft.

Surveillance footage from the gyms where the vehicles were stolen showed a subject matching the description of one of the identified suspects.  Additionally, it was discovered that this same female suspect had a history on the Front Range of auto thefts matching the characteristics of the crimes that occurred in Mesa County.

On Wednesday afternoon, officers attempted to contact two subjects regarding a shoplifting investigation in the parking lot of 2464 Highway 6 & 50.  When officers attempted to contact them, they fled in a white Kia Optima, which was later determined to be one of the stolen vehicles associated to the investigation into the string of auto thefts.  The occupants of the vehicle matched the descriptions of the suspects believed to be involved in the auto thefts.  The two subjects, identified as Patrick Jensen, 32, of Arizona, and Kambria Zentz, 22, of Arizona, ultimately abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.  Law enforcement with the Grand Junction Police Department and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office set up a perimeter in the area.  With the assistance of GJPD K9 Merlin and his handler, officers were able to track and apprehend Jensen and Zentz.

Ultimately, four subjects have been arrested for charges related to these incidents:

Patrick Jensen, 32, of Arizona

JENSEN,PATRICK 11-14
Jensen
  • First Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft Unlawfully attached Wrong Plates (F4)

Kambria Zentz, 22, of Arizona

    • First Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft (F4)
    • Fraud – Identity Theft – Uses Info to Obtain (F4)
    • Theft $750-$2,000 from Motor Vehicle (M1)
JOHNSON,HANNAH,FAITH 11-12
Johnson
  • Unauthorized Use of a Financial Transaction Device (M1)

Hannah Johnson, 21, of Grand Junction

  • Second Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft $20,000 or More (F5)

Kobe Taylor, 18, of Fruita

TAYLOR,KOBE, 11-12
Taylor
  • Second Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft $20,000 or More (F5)

This complex investigation remains active and ongoing.  Additional charges are possible as more information and evidence is revealed.  It’s gratifying to have the opportunity to work across jurisdictional boundaries with law enforcement partners, and we’re proud of the work done by the officers, deputies, and detectives on this case.

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