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We are looking to hire new recruits and will be sponsoring them through the Western Colorado Peace Officers Academy.
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Additional information has been made public regarding the homicide in Orchard Mesa on July 13, 2014 :
At this point in the investigation we are now able to make the suspect’s booking photo public. He remains in the Mesa County Jail with a $500,000 bond. Mesa County Jail inmate information, including bond updates can be found here.
Below are some more details about this case:
A witness called 911 at 4:02am saying they could hear someone yelling for help and that someone had been stabbed. When an officer arrived he found 25-year-old Lee McDonald sitting in front of his home in the 1700 block of Christopher Ct. The officer saw that McDonald had a large amount of blood on him, from his head to his feet. McDonald told the officer he had been involved in a fight with a friend and had stabbed the man after finding him in a car out front with his girlfriend. Other officers found the victim, 27-year-old Nicholas Alan Potts, deceased in front of a home in the 1200 block of Santa Clara Ave.
Officers took McDonald to the police department for further questioning. He was then arrested and booked into the Mesa County Jail for 1st degree murder.
For information about court proceedings contact the 21st Judicial District County and District Court.
Previously released information can be found here.
Grand Junction Police Officers Arrest Person of Interest in Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Death Investigation #GVCopBeat
This morning Grand Junction Police officers arrested 31-year-old Daniel Stetzel, who was labeled by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office as a person of interest in a death investigation. More information about that case can be found here.
The officers were responding to a call about a person who was acting suspiciously near the Blue Heron boat ramp. Stetzel initially provided the officers with a fake name and birthdate. The officers found drug paraphernalia with residue in it in a bag in Stetzel’s possession and placed him under arrest for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. At that point Stetzel provided his real name. Stetzel had two active felony warrants for his arrest that were unrelated to the MCSO investigation. He was booked into jail on the following charges: parole violation, fugitive from other jurisdiction warrant, possession of a controlled substance, criminal impersonation, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
**Update** July 29, 2014
Mr. Banks has returned home and is safe. Thanks to everyone who helped look for him.
Previously released information:
The Grand Junction Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating 18-year-old Thomas Arthur Banks of Grand Junction. Mr. Banks has been missing from his home since July 13. He is described as 5 feet- 8 inches tall and weighing 260 pounds. He was last seen with a full beard. Mr. Banks is bipolar and developmentally delayed.
If you have seen Mr. Banks recently or know where he is please call 970-242-6707.
Are You an Easy Target? “Lock Your Block” Summer Campaign Aims to Prevent Auto Thefts in Colorado #GVCopBeat #gjco #mesacounty
The Western Colorado Auto Theft Task Force, which includes law enforcement agencies in Mesa and Garfield counties, is taking part in the “Lock Your Block” summer educational campaign aimed at preventing auto theft. This statewide campaign reminds people to not only lock their own vehicles, but also watch out for your neighbors, family, and friends. Here’s the news release:
Coloradans Against Auto Theft New Summer Campaign Heats Up During National Auto Theft Prevention Month
Empowering Citizens: Lock Your Block
Denver, CO – The Coloradans Against Auto Theft (CAAT) coalition recognizes National Auto Theft Prevention Month with a new Lockdown public awareness campaign empowering citizens to take an active role in protecting themselves and their communities from auto theft. The summer “Lock Your Block” campaign aims to reduce auto theft by engaging communities to be proactive in prevention efforts.
“The best form of auto theft prevention happens within communities,” said Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol (CSP). “The point of this campaign is to encourage neighbors to protect neighbors, families to protect families…if you notice suspicious behavior in your community, report it immediately.”
Lockdown Summer Campaign: “Lock Your Block”
The Lockdown campaign, supported by grant funding through the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA), is conducted statewide in conjunction with law enforcement agencies, insurance companies and community partners. “It takes a strong combination of law enforcement and task forces working together with the public to combat and prevent auto theft,” said Robert Force, CATPA Director. “We increasingly see auto theft as a gateway to other serious crimes, which makes our jobs even more important. It’s not just about auto theft, it’s about doing what we can to make communities safer overall.”
“Auto theft traditionally spikes during the summer months when drivers tend to leave their guard–and their windows–down,” says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association and CAAT co-chair. “This summer’s campaign creates a sense of proactivity among neighborhoods. We want to encourage Coloradans to call in suspicious activity to help Lock Your Block against auto theft. In addition to mass media and grassroots tactics, we will be supplying task forces and police departments with campaign materials to help spread the word statewide.”
Lock Your Block Summer Campaign Highlights
Public awareness efforts and educational materials will carry statewide messages throughout the summer that encourage citizens to be auto theft aware: lock your car, look for suspicious behavior and report it to local authorities.
• Radio Spots (Colorado Broadcasters Association)
• Online & Digital Ads
• Educational Materials: Lockdown tips cards, sunglasses, USB car chargers,
neighborhood signs, window clings
• Barbed Wire Car Exhibit
The campaign encourages citizens to checkout the interactive hotspot map on www.lockdownyourcar.org to become more informed about where auto theft occurs and that it happens in their neighborhoods—an incentive to be auto theft aware and “Lock Your Block.”
What can the public do?
• Stay aware! If you suspect an auto theft, report it to local authorities by calling 9-1-1 or a non-emergency line.
• Lock Your Block: Support community crime reduction efforts, such as Neighborhood Watch.
• Get real-time statistics on your area auto thefts at www.lockdownyourcar.org. Enter your zip code to see if your car is at risk.
• Attend August National Night Out activities to learn how to keep your community safe.
• Always lock your car. Park in well-lit areas. Don’t keep a spare set of keys in the car.
CAAT Coalition Partners
Colorado auto theft task forces, made up of regional law enforcement agencies, Colorado
State Patrol and other motor vehicle safety and insurance partners, are a part of the CAAT
coalition to decrease auto theft during this peak auto theft season.
• Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement (BATTLE)
• Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (MATT)
• Southern Colorado Reducing Auto Theft Team (SCRATT)
• 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
The Grand Junction Police Department has arrested 25-yeard-old Lee McDonald of Grand Junction on 1st degree murder charges in connection with this morning’s stabbing in Orchard Mesa. He has been booked into the Mesa County jail. His booking photo is not being released at this time as the investigation continues.
The Mesa County Coroner’s Office released the following information this afternoon as well:
The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has completed its examination regarding the death of Nicholas Alan Potts, a 27 year-old male resident of North Miami, FL. Mr. Potts was the gentleman involved in the incident on Santa Clara Ave. in Orchard Mesa early this morning. The cause of death is multiple stab wounds and the manner of death is homicide.
Previously released information about this case can be found here.
One man is dead from what appear to be stab wounds. At this point in the investigation we believe the incident started in the area of Christopher Ct. and Santa Clara Ave. with the victim being assaulted. The victim ran through the neighborhood knocking on doors trying to get help with the suspect following him. He eventually ended up in the front yard of 1254 Santa Clara Ave. where he died.
The suspect is in custody with charges pending. His name is not being released at this time.
The victim’s identity, as well as the official cause and manner of death, will be released after the Mesa County Coroner’s Office completes its portion of the investigation and notifies next of kin.
Previously released information can be found here.
The Grand Junction Police Department is investigating a homicide that happened near the intersection of Pinon St. and Santa Clara Ave. in Orchard Mesa. The incident happened shortly after 4:00am this morning. Detectives and crime scene investigators are on scene gathering evidence and information from witnesses. At this time we are not looking for any suspects.
Santa Clara Ave. at Pinon St. is closed at this time while we continue to investigate.
CSI Camp Gives High School Students a Taste of the Real World of Forensic Investigations #GVCopbeat #cmu #grandjunction
This week western slope high school students learned what real CSI investigators do as they work to solve crimes and track down the bad guys. Grand Junction Police Department forensic investigators taught much of the hands on, three-day course offered by Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College, including blood spatter analysis, forensic photography, and cell phone forensics.
“The idea behind the course is to stimulate interest in forensic science and criminal justice programs,” said Jane Quimby, Director of Public Safety at CMU.
Each of the 14 students received a notebook with different modules that were based on a real, unsolved case that happened in 1842. That case involved a husband and wife that were found dead in a farmhouse, and the husband was partially burned in a fireplace. Using what they learned throughout the course the students worked to see if they could figure out “who done it.”
“My favorite thing was when we went to the crime house and saw the CSI truck,” said Brianna, a 17-year-old student. “When they took us to the blood spatter room, that was really cool because you get to learn what caused them.”
Some of the other topics covered in the course included:
- evidence documentation and processing
- fingerprint classification, lifting and comparisons
- forensic anthropology
- firearms identification analysis
- courtroom procedures and testimony
“I like the photography and learning about the different lenses and depth of light and amount of light,” said Iz’Jayna, 17-year-old student. “I didn’t know all that until now, so it’s really cool.”
As part of the application process for the course, each student had to have a recommendation by a current high school teacher or counselor. A portion of the camp is paid for by a grant from the El Pomar Foundation with the goal of inspiring students and sparking interest in careers and college.
For 17-year-old Hailee, “I want to do drug enforcement, so I thought it would be a good experience before I go through the police academy.”