On Monday, December 30, 2019, emergency personnel were dispatched to 715 Struthers Avenue on a report of an unresponsive male found in the restrooms. Upon arrival, the victim, identified as Jose Phillip Gallegos, 31, of Grand Junction, was found deceased. The Mesa County Coroner’s Office determined the manner and cause of death to be homicide as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.
The investigation into this incident led by detectives with the Grand Junction Police Department has resulted in the arrest of Joshua Baltazar Gallegos, 23, of Fruita. Gallegos, who is currently in the custody of another law enforcement agency on unrelated charges, is facing charges of:
- Murder in the Second Degree (F3)
- Assault in the First Degree (F3)
- Possession of Weapons by a Previous Offender (F6)
- Tampering with Physical Evidence (F6)
- Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (DF4)
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Gallegos remains in the custody of the La Plata County Detention Facility, pending extradition to Mesa County. No details on that time frame are available at this time. A recent booking photo for Gallegos is attached.
Recently, we received a lovely email from a local care coordinator who often works with individuals experiencing homelessness. She relayed an experience she had with our Community Resource Officers, Matt Koch and Brett Boyer, and shared her observations about the exceptional service they provided to a local woman who was in need of resources. In part, the email said this:
“When meeting with this woman and Officer Koch, on Monday, she was shut down, only responsive to him and only engaged in conversation with him. Matt provided such a support to me, as a community partner, to allow me to get what I needed from her and get the process started. I appreciate that he was patient, very professional, showed her compassion, understanding, and empathy. By Tuesday when we met with her again, she was open to conversation, willing to work with me, and engaged in services. By Thursday, she was approved for housing, had applications in for other assistance, and moved into her new home, which ultimately will allow her to transition into permanent housing. This woman, if follows the rules and pays her portion, never has to be homeless again.
In short, because of your officers, this chronically homeless elderly individual now has a place to live (as of today, which they also coordinated transporting her and her belongings), she is now signed up to receive the much needed health care she needs, food assistance, and additional financial support due to her age.
I really wanted to call out the amazing things that they both do, consistently. I have had the great privilege to work with them jointly on other cases for about 4 months now, and they consistently demonstrate respect to the individual, myself, and community partners as well as teamwork, integrity, and excellent personal skills.
I am extremely proud of the reflection they bring to the GJPD and wanted to share.”
We couldn’t have possibly said it better and we wanted to share, too. We’re always gratified when the good work of our officers is recognized. More importantly, this is a great example that highlights that it does, indeed, take a village; it takes multiple care coordinators, resource providers, and vested partners to provide comprehensive care to people who need it. We’re pleased to be part of a dedicated team of people who are going above and beyond to help people in our community find stability.
On Saturday, November 9th, shortly after 7:00am, emergency personnel were dispatched to a residence in the 1000 Block of Hill Avenue on a report of an unresponsive child. Officers with the Grand Junction Police Department, along with medical personnel from the Grand Junction Fire Department, responded to the address and found a nine-year-old female child who was not conscious and not breathing. Sadly, the child was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Yesterday, as a result of a police investigation that has taken place since the incident, Jeffrey Beagley, 34, of Grand Junction, was arrested for Murder in the 1st Degree (F1), Child Abuse Resulting in Death (F2), and Reckless Manslaughter (F4), regarding the death of the 9-year-old child. Additionally, Beagley faces charges of Attempted Sex Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust (F4), Sexual Exploitation of Children (F4), and Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification (F6). Beagley is in the custody of the Mesa County Detention Facility.
Information regarding the cause and manner of death of the victim will come from the Mesa County Coroner’s Office.
The arrest warrant in this case has been sealed.
Our hearts go out to all those who continue to grieve the loss of their loved one.
Detectives with the Grand Junction Police Department have made an arrest related to a string of burglaries that began at the end of November.
During the time period of November 26th through December 9th, three local businesses and two local churches reported being burglarized, resulting in damage and property loss valued in excess of $20,000. Detectives noted similarities in all of the crimes, including a suspect who was captured on security footage at several of the burglary locations.
A pry bar was left behind at the scene of one of the burglaries. Through investigation, detectives were able to identify a local store where that specific type and brand of tool is sold. A search of transaction records revealed a purchase of the identified item on the evening of November 29th, which corresponds with the date of one of the burglaries. Security footage of the individual who made that purchase was compared to surveillance video of the suspect captured during the commission of the crimes, and a suspect was identified through that transaction.
Officers have arrested Eric Martin, 42, of Grand Junction. Upon a search of Martin’s vehicle and his residence subsequent to his arrest, property believed to be related to the burglaries was recovered. Martin was remanded to the custody of the Mesa County Detention Facility for the following charges:
- Second Degree Burglary (Five counts) (F4)
- Criminal Mischief $1,000-$5,000 (Four Counts) (F6)
- 3rd Degree Burglary (Two Counts) (F5)
- Possession of Burglary Tools (Four Counts) (F6)
- Theft $5,000-$20,000 (F5)
- 1st Degree Criminal Trespass of Auto (F5)
- 1st Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft (F5)
- Theft $2,000-$5,000 (Two Counts) (F6)
- Theft $750-$2,000 (M1)
- Criminal Mischief $750-$1,000 (M1)
This investigation remains active and ongoing. As evidence continues to be revealed, additional charges are possible. We are proud of the exceptional and diligent work of the officers and detectives involved in this investigation.
Earlier today, officers and deputies responded to a reported shooting at James Trailer Park. Officers located and engaged in a pursuit of a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle involved, after the driver failed to yield to law enforcement. More information regarding that incident can be found here.
This evening, officers arrested three subjects for charges related to this incident:
Olivia Martinez, 28, of Grand Junction
- Felony Menacing (F5)
- Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender (F6)
- Reckless Endangerment (M3)
- Vehicular Eluding (F3)
- Reckless Driving
- Driving Under Revocation
Desiree Vallejos, 25, of Grand Junction
- Accessory to Crime (Felony Menacing) (F5)
- Accessory to Crime (Reckless Endangerment) (PO1)
David Mora, 20, of Grand Junction
- Felony Menacing (F5)
- Violation of a Protection Order (M2)
Booking photos of the suspects are not available at this time.
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
- 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)
- 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
- 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.