Fatal Crash on I70

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Fatal Crash on I70 Near Horizon Dr.
Case # 11-35743

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo –  The Grand Junction Police Department is investigating a fatal crash that happened just west of Horizon Dr.  At about 3:15 this afternoon, a man driving a white pickup was westbound on I70 coming around the curve at Horizon Dr.  The driver, who was in the outside lane, went off the right side of the road, struck a light pole, and rolled the truck.  The driver died at the scene.  Firefighters used equipment to cut away parts of the vehicle that had pinned the passenger, who was partially ejected during the crash.  That man was taken to the hospital with what appeared to be serious injuries.

The westbound on-ramp at I70 is closed, as is one lane of westbound I70 while investigators reconstruct the accident and clean up the debris.

The names of those involved in the crash are not being released until family members have been notified.

US Bank Robbery Photos

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Do you know who this man is?

These are surveillance photos of a man who robbed the US Bank at 2448 F Rd just after 10:30 this morning. He walked into the bank and up to a teller, showed her a note demanding money and indicated he had a weapon.  The suspect then ran out of the bank and was last seen heading north on foot.

 There were 5 employees and 2 customers in the store at the time of the robbery.  No one was injured.  Caprock Academy was placed on lockdown for a short time while we searched the area for the suspect.

The suspect is described as a white man, approximately 5-feet 10-inches tall, with a thin build, wearing a red shirt, khaki hat with an unknown logo on it, dark sunglasses, and tan pants or shorts.  He has short brown hair.

If anyone has information about this suspect they can call the Grand Junction Police Department at 242-6707, call Crime Stoppers at 241-STOP, send the information via the web at www.241stop.com, or text CRIMES to 241STOP and include your tip information.  The identity of the person providing the information will remain anonymous.

 

Incident Dispatch Team Assisting with Fire Fight

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An IDT Dispatcher uses a radio to talk to crews working the fire

Several of our dispatchers who are part of the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center Incident Dispatch Team (IDT) have been assigned to the Kannah Creek Fire.  They are split into two, 12-hour shifts, and are monitoring and helping to coordinate the ground crews, as well as relaying messages to the air center. 

The Mobile Communication Vehicle

The IDT operates our Mobile Communication Vehicle (a dispatch center on wheels), which is proving very useful in a remote area where communication through established towers is very difficult.

Here’s the latest news release regarding the Kannah Creek Fire:

NEWS RELEASE

July 25, 2011 6 p.m.

Contact: David Boyd, UCR Public Information Officer, 970 319-4130

Tom Alvarez, UCR Public Information Officer, 970 210-2126

Kannah Creek Fire doesn’t grow, full containment expected tomorrow

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The 42-acre Kannah Creek Fire 40 miles southeast of Grand Junction did not grow today, and fire officials have elected to fully contain the fire.

The fire was given the opportunity to grow today on National Forest lands on the north and east flanks to help reduce fuel and improve forest health, but fire activity was minimal. With increasing moist air expected over the region, the potential for the fire to grow further over the next week is low.

With about 125 firefighting personal and two helicopters currently working the fire, fire officials decided this evening to go ahead and secure fire line around the entire perimeter. Full containment is expected tomorrow, and the fire is not expected to grow further.

Fire officials have flexibility in managing lightning-ignited fires such as this one. When the fire actively burned on Sunday, firefighters worked to keep its spread onto City of Grand Junction-owned lands to a minimum, but did not take suppression actions on the north and east flanks. This allowed fire to play its natural, beneficial role on National Forest lands.

Kannah Creek Trail, Carson Lake, Deep Creek Trail and Drop Off Point Trail remain closed as firefighters continue to work the fire.

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Taco Bell Shooting Update

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A GJPD criminalist photographs evidence the night of the shooting.

 

Suspects Involved in Homicide and Robberies Identified

Two People are in Custody; Warrants Issued for Two Others

Case # 11-33812, 11-33769, 11-33727 and 11-33773

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo –  After an intensive investigation, the Grand Junction Police Department has identified four suspects involved in the shooting that took place outside the Taco Bell on Saturday, July 16.  The same group of people is also linked to two armed robberies and a burglary that took place in Grand Junction earlier that day. 

Lester Miranda-Davis (DOB: 08-26-92) is currently being held in the Mesa County Jail on the charges listed below.  Christian Fuentes (DOB: 06-01-91) is currently in custody in California on unrelated charges.  He also has a GJPD warrant for the charges listed below in connection with our investigation.  Warrants have also been issued for two other suspects, Jaime Cardenas (DOB: 08-14-91) and Fidel Silva (DOB: 05-19-87), who are currently at large, however we have reason to believe they have left Colorado.  As soon as investigators are at a point where releasing photos of the suspects would not jeopardize the investigation, we will do so.  

Because this is an ongoing investigation, the courts have sealed the case.  Further information will be released at a time when doing so would not jeopardize it. 

It is important for the community to know that we believe the four incidents that took place last Saturday were all committed by the same group of suspects.  Moreover, we currently believe that the suspects are either in custody or currently out of our area.  Detectives are working closely with other law enforcement partners to locate the two suspects who are still outstanding. 

If anyone has additional information about this incident or the whereabouts of the two suspects still at large they can call the Grand Junction Police Department at 242-6707, call Crime Stoppers at 241-STOP, send the information via the web at www.241stop.com, or text CRIMES to 241STOP and include your tip information.  The identity of the person providing the information will remain anonymous. 

CHARGES:

Lester Miranda-Davis: 1st deg.burglary, felony theft, aggravated robbery, felony menacing (3 counts), theft, 1st deg. Murder, attempted 1st deg. Murder (2 counts), 1st deg. Assault (3 counts) 

Christian Fuentes: 1st deg. Burglary (2 counts), felony theft (2 counts), aggravated robbery (2 counts), felony menacing (5 counts), misdemeanor theft, 1st deg. Murder, attempted 1st deg. Murder (2 counts), 1st deg. Assault (3 counts) 

Jaime Cardenas: 1st deg. Burglary (2 counts), felony theft (2 counts), aggravated robbery (2 counts), felony menacing (5 counts), misdemeanor theft, 1st deg. Murder, attempted 1st deg. Murder (2 counts), 1st deg. Assault (3 counts) 

Fidel Silva: 1st deg. Burglary (2 counts), felony theft (2 counts), aggravated robbery (2 counts), felony menacing (5 counts), misdemeanor theft, 1st deg. Murder, attempted 1st deg. murder (2 counts), 1st deg. Assault (3 counts)

Armed Robberies Surveillance Photos

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Advance America Cash Advance Photos

  

Liquor Store Surveillance Photos

  

We are continuing to follow up on leads and information gathered during our investigations of two armed robberies that took place on Saturday, July 16.  At this time we are trying to identify and locate the suspect or suspects involved in the Advance America Cash Advance (2502 U.S. Highway 6 & 50) and Teller Arms Liquor (2353 Belford Avenue) robberies. 

Victims of both robberies described the suspect(s) as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’8″ with a thin to medium build, a mustache, and may have had acne scarring around his mouth.  The witnesses from the liquor store robbery also believe the suspect had at least one accomplice, driving a small light colored sedan, possibly a Chrysler Sebring.  Surveillance photos from both crimes are included in this news release.  We recognize the similarities in the descriptions of the suspects from each case, however we do not have enough information at this point to conclusively say they are linked.

 If anyone has information about this incident they can call the Grand Junction Police Department at 242-6707, call Crime Stoppers at 241-STOP, send the information via the web at www.241stop.com, or text CRIMES to 241STOP and include your tip information.  Crime Stoppers allows people to provide information anonymously.

“What Else Do They Do?” – Charitable Events

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When you ask someone what a person who works for the police department does, you’ll likely get a response of “they arrest people” or “they write tickets.”  We can’t argue with that.  But, with 180 employees within the Grand Junction Police Department, both civilian and sworn, there are many folks here who do amazing things for our community and our police department- beyond just making arrests or issuing tickets.  We want you to know about some of these people.  We hope you’ll enjoy this insight into some of the work being done as we answer “What Else Do They Do?”

The Flamin Coconuts and the Cops Against Cancer 2011 Relay for Life teams

Cops, 911 Dispatchers, and the numerous civilians who make up our local law enforcement agencies are busy people.  This post isn’t about preaching about how tough their jobs can be and how hard they work, rather it’s about the dedication these people have to the community they live in and how much they are willing to give back on their own time.

June was a particularly impressive month.  Take the annual Fruita and Grand Junction Relay for Life events to raise money for the American Cancer Society, for example.  The events require teams to have at least one representative walking on the track during the entire 17-hour events.  The “Flamin Coconuts”, a team made up of 911 dispatchers and friends raised more than $1300 for the Fruita event.  “Cops Against Cancer”, a team made up of area law enforcement agencies raised more than $2600 for the Grand Junction Relay for Life.

GJPD Police Service Technician Sheridan O’Leary was one of the team captains for “Cops Against Cancer”, for the second year in a row.

“Being a part of Relay gives you the opportunity to be around others who are battling cancer and others who have had that loss in their lives,” said O’Leary. “It was my first year walking the survivor lap and it was an inspiring moment for me. Then there was the lighting of the luminarias, which is a solemn event where we honor those lost and those fighting. I have never had an experience like it and it left me with new hope for a better tomorrow.”

There are others in our department who have also been personally touched by the causes they supported last month.  For “Flamin Coconuts” Team Captain Cozett Davis, the team formed in honor of a fellow dispatcher that is a cancer survivor, as well as a dispatcher that cared for her husband until his passing due to cancer, and for others who have lost loved ones to cancer.

“It brought us as a group together, doing what we could for the cause,” she said. “This was something new for us, we have never been involved in anything like this before. Next year we hope to raise more and get more dispatchers and families involved.”

The charity fundraising didn’t end with the two relays.  A charity go-kart race last month ended up raising money for Wounded Warriors, while also honoring true heroes in our community. And then came the arrests, although the GJPD employees who were cuffed were happy to be thrown in the slammer in this case.  The annual Muscular Distrophy Association’s “Lockup” put several of our employees behind bars, forcing them to work the phones to raise enough “bail money” to spring them free.  These events combined to raise hundreds more dollars for our community.

As you can see we’ve been up to a lot more than just writing tickets, although we’re still out on the streets patrolling and detectives are still piecing together clues to solve crimes.  And that’s just for June; we still have a lot of activities planned for this summer and fall before we start gearing up for our annual holiday activities that benefit a number of the kids in the Grand Valley.

“Being able to share with others and to work along side hundreds who are fighting the same fight you are is a miracle to see. If just one dollar of what we raised helps one life, it’s completely worth it,” adds O’Leary.

To see more photos from the various events visit us on

Come out and see us at the August 11th Farmer’s Market on Main St. for a “Touch-a-Truck” event.  We’ll be bringing all of our special unit vehicles for you to climb in and out of, as well as important safety information.  Hope to see you there!