Is Crime Really On The Rise In GJ? Latest Crime Numbers Released #GVCopBeat

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imageWe read it in online comments and social media posts and hear it in casual conversations- “I  can’t believe how much crime is going up in Grand Junction.”  But is it really, “on the rise?”

Each year we publish our annual crime and traffic report on our website, with a comparison of the numbers over a 5 year period to help put it in context.  We also include brief summaries for some of the noteworthy items listed in the report, to help give the numbers some meaning.  While we can’t tell you EXACTLY why some numbers are up and others are down (the criminals rarely tell us why they did or didn’t commit the crime!), we do our best to analyse the data and compare it to relevant changes or observations from within the department.

Brace yourself!– we’re about to throw a lot of numbers at you, but the goal is to help paint a complete picture that goes beyond a headline. It might be helpful to have the crime report next to you as you read through this.

To say that crime is on the rise in Grand Junction is technically true. Of all the reported crime for 2014 there were 10,043 incidents, compared to 9,995 in 2013 (a total of 48 incidents spread out over the entire year).  However, the 2014 total is lower than in both 2011 and 2012 by approximately 700 incidents each of those years.  In fact, the five year average for crime is Grand Junction is 10,224 incidents per year, meaning we were 181 incidents below the 5 year average in 2014.

Where did we see increases in crime? Rape numbers went from 48 reported incidents in 2013 to 67  in 2014.  Of those 67 reported incidents, more than 85% of the reports noted that the victim and suspect knew each other.  Part of that increase may be due in part to a push last year by officers to reach out to high school and college students to educate them about preventing sexual assault and how to report it if someone is a victim of sexual assault. We blogged about that program several times last year.  By the way, the five year average for rape incidents is 57 reports a year, 10 fewer than what we saw in 2014.

DUI incidents also went up last year, with 472 incidents in 2014 compared to 361 in 2013.  The five year average is 455.   DUI incidents primarily involve proactive, officer initiated operations. In 2014 we were able to fill multiple vacancies allowing us to provide more officers on the streets to address drunken drivers and other crime problems.

Kidnapping incidents also went up in 2014. We had 18 incidents, compared to a 5 year average of 12.  We feel it’s important to educate our community that kidnappings reported to the GJPD are generally domestic violence (illegally moving a person from one location to another) or family related, including parental kidnappings.  In 2014 only one reported kidnapping was a stranger attempting to abduct a victim.  The victim was able to escape.

There are some other crime types that went up and they are addressed in our online report.image

So, what types of crimes went down in 2014? Quite a few actually, including robbery, burglary, auto theft, theft from auto and car break-ins, shoplifting, disorderly conduct, harassment/stalking, fraud/forgery, and vandalism.  Property related crimes are at a 5 year low, and our homicide rate is right at the 5 year average.

The real story is that crime tends to go up and down over the years, and there’s not one single factor that we could point to and say, “that’s the reason why!” Just know that we will continue working hard for this community to make sure we are meeting our mission:

To enforce the law, safeguard our community,

and enhance its quality of life through the

prevention, investigation, and reduction of crime.

Download the full version of the 2014 Crime Report


Crime Stoppers Offering $1000 Reward For Information About Assault; Man Found On Main St. With Severe Head Injuries #MCCrimeStoppers #GVCopBeat

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Zachery Lane
Zachery Lane

Crime of the Week for October 16, 2014

This week Crime Stoppers of Mesa County needs your help in locating the suspects involved in an assault.

At 2 a.m. on Saturday, September 13th, police were dispatched to a medical call in the 400 block of Main Street. The male victim, 33 year old Zachery Lane was found unconscious and bleeding on the south sidewalk.  Lane was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital for treatment of serious head injuries. Grand Junction Police detectives believe that Mr. Lane was assaulted.

If you have information about this crime or know the whereabouts or identity of the subjects involved in this crime, please contact Crime Stoppers at 970-241-7867.  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

GJPD# 2014-50299

Puff… Puff… Poof! Don’t Be a Victim of Car Thieves #GVCopbeat

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Western Colorado Auto Theft Task Force LogoThe Western Colorado Auto Theft Task Force (WCATT), in conjunction with Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT), is reminding drivers to protect themselves from car thieves.  Below is important information CAAT issued today:

How fast can a thief steal your car? How about when you leave it warming up unattended?

That’s right—your car, with that telltale “puff” of exhaust signaling a thief, is suddenly “poof”!  That’s the safety message Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT) is sending with today’s launch of a statewide winter public awareness campaign warning Colorado drivers about the
dangers of making their cars an easy target for thieves. It’s a catchy, playful message that points to a serious, costly crime problem.

Especially on cold winter mornings, many of us don’t stop to think that the urge to warm up a car—often filled with valuables and even small children—can quickly put you in the middle of a crime that just starts with a stolen vehicle. So-called “puffers” during peak winter months
contribute to Colorado’s auto theft problem that is being fueled by a rise in serious related crimes involving drugs, gangs and organized car theft rings. The Colorado Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC) reports that auto theft has increased statewide with
11,003 car thefts in 2012, compared to 9,331 in 2011.

“It’s essential to educate Coloradans that auto theft frequently is the gateway to other, serious violent crimes like burglary, identity theft, drug crimes and even homicide,” said Colorado State Patrol Chief Colonel Scott Hernandez. “The seemingly minor act of leaving your car running unattended just opens the door—recent statistics show us crime now rarely stops with a stolen car, and encouraging citizens to do their part to help prevent auto theft is an important step in making Colorado safer.”

“Even if you never leave your car running unattended or always lock it, how often do you see it happen?” says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association and CAAT Co-Chair. “Those stolen ‘puffers’ and other vehicles ultimately cost all Colorado drivers through higher insurance premiums.” The average value of a stolen vehicle is about $6,000—this amounts to an estimated $66 million in annual Colorado losses.

For more information on the Lockdown campaign and to see which neighborhoods are auto theft hot spots, visit


− Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement (BATTLE)
− Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (MATT)
− Southern Colorado Motor Vehicle Theft Task Force
− Western Colorado Auto Theft Task Force (WCATT)
− East Metro Auto Theft Team (EMATT)
− Commerce City/Thornton/Adams County Auto Theft Prevention Program
− Attorney General’s Auto Theft Prosecution Initiative
− Colorado Auto Theft Investigators (CATI)
− Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT)
− Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center (ATICC)
− San Luis Valley


About Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT):
Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT) is a statewide auto theft prevention initiative to raise awareness about the problem and educate the public on what they can do to reduce their chances of falling victim to auto theft. CAAT is a coalition of law enforcement agencies, the Colorado State Patrol, insurance partners, LoJack and AAA Colorado. CAAT and the state auto theft task force efforts are funded in part by the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA).

Crime of the Week for November 7, 2013 #MCCrimeStoppers #GVCopbeat

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tractorCrime Stoppers Bulletin for November 7, 2013

The Grand Junction Police Department needs your help to identify and locate the suspect(s) that were involved in a theft.

Sometime between Friday, October 4th and Friday, October 11th, unknown suspect(s) entered the property located in the 600 block of 29 Road and removed a blue Ford tractor. The total estimated value of the stolen tractor is $10,000.

If you know the identity or location of the subject involved in this crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 970-241-7867. 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

GJPD Case # 13-49773

Crime of the Week for October 11, 2013 #MCcrimestoppers

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Crime Stoppers Logo

Crime Stoppers Bulletin for October 10, 2013

The Grand Junction Police Department needs the public’s help to identify and locate suspects that were involved in an assault and robbery.

On Saturday, September 28th at about 10:00 am, two African American males approached the victim in the area of 28 ½ Road and North Avenue. The subjects assaulted and robbed the victim before fleeing the area.

The suspects were described as being between 18 and 25 years old, 5’10” to 6’2”, weighing between 150 and 180 pounds. Both had shoulder length dread-locks and both were wearing black pants, with black hooded sweat shirts.

If you know the identity or location of the subject(s) involved, please contact Crime Stoppers at 241-STOP. Information reported to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest can earn you up to $1000 cash reward and you will remain completely anonymous. For more information, see us at

GJPD Case # 13-47328

Keep Your Rental Property Crime Free #gjco

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Crime_Free_Multihousing_LogoRegistration is underway for the next Crime Free Multi-Housing class.   This is a very popular, FREE program that teaches property owners and managers how to keep crime out of their properties. The first step in the three step process is to take an 8 hour training class that is spread over two days.  Register online and get more details at

At the training class we discuss background checks, lease agreements, current trends in narcotics activity, gang awareness, and crime prevention. The second phase is a survey Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). During that survey, we look at locks, lighting, and landscaping of the property and make recommendations to make the property safer. The third phase consists of a safety social where the owner invites the residents out to discuss crime prevention and the Crime Free program.

After the completion of the 3 phases, the property becomes certified and we provide signs to post at the entrance for all to see. The owner can also use the Crime Free Logo when advertising for new tenants. The Police Department keeps a list of properties involved in the program and often times has residents come to the police department asking about Crime Free Properties.

This program is internationally recognized and was founded in Arizona in 1992. Some of the benefits of active participants have shown an 80% reduction in calls for service, arrests and reports at properties. Some insurance agencies that recognize the program have also offered a reduced cost on insurance. One of the properties in Arizona received a $10,000 per year savings. Locally, we give the property owner a listing of all calls for service at their property on a weekly basis. We also track any residents that live or visit the property for arrests. If anyone living or visiting the property is arrested, we will notify the owner and provide police reports.

Click here to view the informational flyer

Sign Up for National Night Out 2013

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Do you want to prevent crime in your neighborhood?  Do you have questions about how to keep your street safe? Join us for National Night Out 2013.

The Insider on The GJPD Patrol has the details.

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