Last night, the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center received information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that a subject wanted by their agency for an abduction out of Bradley County, Tennessee, was suspected to be in Mesa County. Officers and deputies with the Palisade Police Department and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office were able to locate the suspect vehicle on I-70, near the Clifton exit. Detectives with the Grand Junction Police Department also responded to the scene. The suspect in this case, Michael Wilson, 35, was taken into custody on an arrest warrant related to this case. The victim of the abduction, a 2 year old female who is Wilson’s daughter, was also located, and appeared to be unharmed. The child was turned over to the Mesa County Department of Human Services, until she can be reunited with her custodial guardian. After being interviewed by detectives with the Grand Junction Police Department, Wilson was remanded to the custody of the Mesa County Jail, where he will remain pending extradition. The FBI expressed their gratitude for the impressive collaboration by multiple Grand Valley law enforcement agencies.
On Sunday night, shortly after 11:00pm, an officer with the Grand Junction Police Department observed a white Chevy Cobalt traveling northbound on 28 1/4 Road from Orchard Avenue. The vehicle appeared to have a flat rear passenger tire. A records check of the license pate on the vehicle returned with an association to a subject with an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The officer conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, and other units arrived to assist.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Thomas Laitinen, 47. The passenger in the vehicle was identified as Samuel Frost, 41. A check of Laitinten’s name confirmed that his license was suspended and he had three active warrants for his arrest. Laitinen was placed into custody.
At this time, other officers on scene observed what appeared to be a pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine in the vehicle in plain sight. When asked, Laitinen said that he was holding the pipe for a friend. Laitinen stated that he didn’t have any other property in the car, but did advise that there was a rifle on the back floorboard of the vehicle. By this time, Frost, the passenger of the vehicle, had been asked out of the car and had advised that he was a convicted felon, and that the gun was not his. A backpack was located in the back seat, next to the gun. Both Laitinen and Frost denied ownership of the backpack.
A search of the vehicle was conducted, to include the backpack. Inside the backpack were two large bags, weighing over 1.5lbs, of a white crystalline substance, appearing to be methamphetamine. There were also several items of drug paraphernalia in the bag, as well as a large amount of cash. Also located in the bag were several documents with the name Samuel Frost on them, as well as a switchblade.
Both subjects were arrested and remanded to the Mesa County Jail. Laitinen was charged with Possession of a Weapon while in Possession of Drugs (DF1), Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF4), Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF1), Driving with a Restrained License, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (DPO), and Driving without Insurance, as well as the warrants.
Frost was charged with Possession of a Weapon while in Possession of Drugs (DF1), Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF4), Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF1), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (DPO), Possession of an Illegal Weapon (M1), and Possession of Weapons by a Previous Offender (F6).
On August 3rd, officers with the Grand Junction Police Department responded to a report of a burglary at 780 Kennedy Avenue, a property owned by Colorado Mesa University. It was reported that someone unlawfully entered the residence, which is used for storage for various University departments, and stole items valued in excess of $20,000. The reporting party also located items that indicated someone had been sleeping in the residence.
On August 10, an employee with CMU made another report of a burglary at the same location, this time from a storage area in the garage. Upon arriving at the scene to investigate, officers located a male sleeping in a chair inside the residence. The male, identified as Thomas Loffreda, 50, did not have permission to be in the residence, and when asked why he thought it was okay to enter the house, he stated that he thought it was okay “since there were no ‘no trespassing’ signs.” When contacted, Loffreda was wearing items that had been reported as stolen from the residence in the original burglary report. Officers responded to Loffreda’s residence, in the 1200 Block of Bookcliff Avenue, to look for further evidence from the burglary. Upon arrival, officers observed a blue kayak outside of Loffreda’s apartment. Knowing that a blue kayak was reported stolen in the original burglary report, officers contacted a CMU employee, who was able to confirm that the kayak at the residence was indeed the same kayak that was reported stolen from the residence on Kennedy a week earlier. While executing a search warrant for Loffreda’s residence, officers located additional items from the burglary, as well as drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine.
Thomas Loffreda was arrested and remanded to the Mesa County Jail on the following charges:
2 counts of 2nd Degree Burglary (F3), Theft (F4), 1st Degree Criminal Trespass of a Dwelling (F5), Criminal Mischief (M3), 2 counts of Violation of a Protection Order (M2), Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (F4), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (PO2), and Violation of Bail Bond Conditions (F6).
The Grand Junction Police Department needs your help to locate the suspects involved in a theft and burglary.
Sometime between 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 26th and 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 28th, unknown subjects unlawfully entered a Wells Cargo trailer parked inside the Partners’ Western Colorado Conservation Corps property located at 2818 ½ North Avenue. Once inside, the suspects removed a two part Dolmar gas and oil can, two orange and white Stihl Chainsaws with 20” bars, each had an engraving, one of “S8” and the other of “S9.” Also, an Ammo toolbox containing spare chainsaw parts. The total estimated property loss is over $1,800.
If you know the identity of the subjects 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 http://www.241stop.com
The Grand Junction Regional Communication Center Emergency and Community Notification System is a great tool to provide essential information quickly for a variety of situations. The GJRCC sends alerts about emergencies such as evacuations, floods, gas leaks or other critical public safety information. You may also choose to receive Community Alerts about accidents, road closures, wildfires and prescribed burns, school closures, and power outages.
Recently, we’ve received complaints from citizens who have signed up for these notifications about the weather alerts that may come to your phone or email at inconvenient times–like when you’re sound asleep! Weather alerts are pushed out through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We recognize the frustration of repeated late night messages, and want to make sure that the community knows that you can manage your alerts in a few, simple steps. Although we don’t have any discretion as to when or how often those alerts are sent out, you do!
First, log into your emergency alert account here. Once you log in, click the “edit” button on the “My Alert Subscriptions” box.
Next, navigate to the alerts you’d like to manage by expanding the menus, using the plus signs next to the menu option. You don’t have stop receiving the alerts completely; you can simply manage the times during which you’d like to receive them, and eliminate the late night messages! Once you’ve completed your changes, don’t forget to hit save.
Community and emergency alerts are a simple and effective way to reach a large population of citizens with critical safety information. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do. You can learn more about how the process works by clicking here. If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call at (970)549-5118.
The Grand Junction Police Department has made a second arrest in the homicide investigation of three year old Bethannie Johnson.
Shortly before 8:00am, on Thursday, March 17th, officers with the Grand Junction Police Department were dispatched to the 3000 Block of North 14th Street on a report of a three year old female who was not conscious and not breathing. Officers, along with paramedics with the Grand Junction Fire Department, arrived on scene and found the child to be deceased. The victim in this case was identified as Bethannie Johnson.
Shanna Gossett, 29, was arrested in relation to this case on March 18. Gossett is charged with Child Abuse Resulting in Death (F2), Murder in the First Degree (F1), Second Degree Kidnapping (F2), and False Imprisonment (F5). Gossett is Bethannie’s aunt, and legal guardian.
Today, detectives with the Grand Junction Police Department served an arrest warrant for this case for Rebekah Joy Wallin, age 32. Wallin was remanded to the Mesa County Jail on charges of Child Abuse Resulting in Death (F2), Murder in the First Degree (F1), Second Degree Kidnapping (F2), and False Imprisonment (F5).
This week Crime Stoppers of Mesa County is requesting information that will lead to the identification of the subjects involved in a burglary.
Sometime between 4 p.m. on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 and 6 a.m. on Wednesday, November 25, 2015, unknown subjects unlawfully entered the outdoor cooler at the Berna B’s Restaurant located at 2913 Patterson Road. Once inside, the subjects stole numerous food products and alcoholic beverages. The total estimated property loss is over $3,000.
If you know the identity of the subjects 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 http://www.241stop.com.