Local Agencies Participate in Nationwide Initiative Targeting Child Sex Traffickers #GVCopBeat

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Last week, several local law enforcement agencies took part in the eleventh annual Operation Cross Country.  This initiative, spearheaded by the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, targets the criminals responsible for the sex trafficking of children.

“We at the FBI have no greater mission than to protect our nation’s children from harm,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Unfortunately, the number of traffickers arrested—and the number of children recovered—reinforces why we need to continue to do this important work.”

Operation Cross Country is part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which began in 2003. Since its creation, the program has resulted in the identification and recovery of more than 6,500 children from child sex trafficking, and prosecutors have obtained more than 30 life sentences in cases against traffickers and their associates.

Over 500 law enforcement agencies across the country participated in this year’s operation.  Locally, the Grand Junction Police Department, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, the Western Colorado Drug Task Force, the Fruita Police Department, the Palisade Police Department, the Colorado State Patrol, the US Marshall’s Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation worked together to make three arrests:

  • William Stephenson, 49, of Grand Junction
    • Attempted Sex Assault (M2)
    • Soliciting for Child Prostitution (F3)
    • Internet Luring of a Child (F4)
      • Remains in custody on a $25,000 bond
  • Steele Stevens, 28, of Grand Junction
    • Internet Luring of a Child (F4)
    • Attempted Sexual Assault on a Child (F4)
    • Soliciting for Child Prostitution (F3)
    • Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (F4)
      • Released on a $25,000 bond
  • Charles Verquer, 32, of Delta
    • Internet Luring of a Child (F4)
    • Sexual Assault on a Child (F4)
    • Patronizing a Prostituted Child (F3)
    • Soliciting for Child Prostitution (F3)
    • Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (F4)
    • Resisting Arrest (M2)
      • Released on a $25,000 Cash Bond



Fatal Crash Causes Power Outage and Alternate Routing for Redlands and Broadway #GVCopBeat #ShareGJ

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BREAKINGNEWS (1)At approximately midnight, the Grand Junction Police Department responded to a single car crash on Broadway just west of Redlands Parkway. A passenger car struck several utility poles, taking them to the ground. The car started on fire, and the driver and sole occupant died in the vehicle. The GJPD is the lead investigating agency for this incident, and the Mesa County Coroner will be responsible for releasing the identity of the deceased.

Broadway will be closed for the majority of the day between Redlands Parkway and Reed Mesa Drive to facilitate the replacement of the downed utility poles. Per the Xcel Energy website, numerous homes are without power at this time.

Broadway Elementary School and Redlands Middle School have power and will remain open today. Alternate routing for buses and parent drop off will be required:

For Redlands Middle School: Take Redlands Parkway to South Camp, South Camp to 20 ½ Road, and 20 ½ Road to Broadway.

For Broadway Elementary School: Take Redlands Parkway to Greenbelt and Greenbelt to 22 ½ Road. Buses and vehicles will be allowed to exit eastbound onto Broadway to get back to Redlands Parkway.

Traffic control personnel will be in place, but please be patient and plan for delays if you travel anywhere in this area during your morning commute.

All traffic information is subject to change, based on the process and progress of restoring the utility poles.


Help Solve a Burglary in Fruita #GVCopBeat

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Crime Stoppers LogoThe Fruita Police Department needs your help in locating the suspects involved in a burglary.

Sometime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday, September 18th, unknown suspects unlawfully entered a residence in the 800 block of Mission Court by removing a window screen. Once inside the residence, the suspects removed a large sum of cash, several pieces of Indian gold jewelry and coins from locked containers. The victims’ business checkbook and passports were also taken. The total estimated damage and property loss is over $30,000.

If you know the identity or whereabouts of the suspects involved in this crime, please call 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 http://www.241stop.com.

FPD 17-6576

Fruita PD Case# 2017-6576

Arrest Made in Thursday Night Shooting #GVCopBeat

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cuffsLast night, shortly before 9:30pm, a reporting party called 911, stating that he had shot his friend accidentally, claiming he believed the gun was unloaded.  Officers with the Grand Junction Police Department arrived at the residence in the 2100 Block of N 17th Circle and found a deceased adult male inside the residence with the reporting party. We believe that the victim and the reporting party were the only two people inside the residence at the time of the incident.

Ultimately, Robert Pickford, age 24, was arrested and booked into the Mesa County Jail for Manslaughter, a class 4 felony.  The investigation into the details of this incident is still very active and ongoing.

The identity of the victim will be released by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office, pending notification of family members.


Do You Recognize This Bike Thief? #GVCopBeat #MCCrimeStoppers

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Crime Stoppers LogoThis week Crime Stoppers needs your help to identify and locate a male subject involved in a theft.

Shortly after 2:50 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23rd a black and gray “Specialized Rockhopper Comp” bicycle with 29” tires was stolen from the east bike rack of Pinon Hall at Colorado Mesa University. The total estimated property loss is over $800. The surveillance photo of the male subject can be viewed at http://www.241stop.com.

If you know the subject involved in this crime, please call 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 http://www.241stop.com.

GJPD# 2017-53710


Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol: A Student Safety Presentation #ShareGJ

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StudentsAs parents, there are few things that we value above the health and safety of our children.  Any parent of a high school or college bound son or daughter knows the concern that the influence of peers often outweighs mom’s or dad’s input.

The Grand Junction Police Department would like to invite parents, as well as high school and college age young adults, to join us for a frank discussion about how we can equip our young people to make safe, smart choices that can help protect them and their friends.  Sergeant Suzette Freidenberger, a 15 year veteran of the Grand Junction Police Department, offers a candid presentation about how to navigate the many choices with which young people are confronted.  In settings where alcohol and/or drugs are present, an ill-considered choice can have long term consequences.  We will be joined by a panel of guests, including health care professionals, school resource officers, and other invested community members.

It is important to empower our sons and daughters to recognize these serious circumstances and be ready to make sound decisions that can protect them and their peers.  Parents, please know that this will be a candid discussion, with graphic language and content.  It is strongly recommended that parents plan to attend with their high school and college age children, and be part of the conversation.

When: Thursday, September 14, 6:30pm

Where: Grand Junction Police Department, 555 Ute Avenue

Please contact Heidi Davidson at (970)549-5114, or at heidid@gjcity.org, to RSVP or with questions.


Bats, Bags, and Beans! #ShareGJ

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BBB WEB BANNER2017We are so excited to be partnering with MBC Grand Broadcasting, Inc., Critical Nurse Staffing, Inc., and Grand Junction Parks and Recreation to host the first annual Bats, Bags, and Beans fundraising event!

Bats, Bags, and Beans is a softball tournament (we’ll be playing with a 16″ softball!), a corn hole tournament, and a chili cook-off, all to raise money for our annual Shop with a Cop program, as well as the Grand Junction Fire Fighters Foundation.  If you have lived in the Grand Valley for any length of time, you’re likely familiar with this beloved holiday program, where we provide opportunities for local 5th grade students to shop for Christmas gifts for their families and friends, when they otherwise would not have the means to do so.  We very much want to expand this program to include more local elementary schools, and we need to raise funds to make it happen!

Here’s the details: we’re asking the community to get together co-ed softball teams, corn hole teams, or chili competition teams.  The event will be held at Canyon View Park on Saturday, September 16.  Members of the community will compete against first responder teams from the GJPD, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, the Grand Junction Fire Department, the Colorado State Patrol, and other public safety agencies in Mesa County, as well as other community teams.  There will be prizes, a silent auction, a home run derby, and a full day of fun to raise money for these worthy causes.

Click here to register and get more information; scroll down to the event that says, “Softball – Bats, Bags, and Beans Tournament,” and then click on the button in the right hand column that says “More (4)” to see the full list of events for which you can register.  Registration deadline is September 11, so get your team together today and help us make this event a success!