Mesa County Colorado

Grand Junction Police Officers Arrest “America’s Most Wanted” Fugitive #GVCopBeat

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Luke Artinger
Luke Artinger

This week the Grand Junction Police Department was notified that a man arrested by two of our officers had been featured on the television show “America’s Most Wanted”.  The man had been on the run from California authorities since 2010.  Here is the news release from the Huntington Beach Police Department in California:

Release Date: March 6, 2014   Prepared by: Captain W. Stuart (Huntington Beach PD)
Type of Incident: Capture of Most Wanted Fugitive
Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
Date/Time of Occurrence: July 3, 2010 Case Number: 2010-011111
Luke Austin Artinger, who has been a fugitive since July 3, 2010 and was wanted in connection with Parole Violations and Attempted Murder has been arrested in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Artinger was featured in several previous newspaper articles and was featured on the television show “America’s Most Wanted”.
Artinger is accused of violating his parole from a previous conviction on vandalism and battery charges involving the stabbing of a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy who attempted to detain him after catching him tagging in February, 2007.
Artinger pleaded guilty to those charges in January, 2009 and was sentenced to five years in state prison but was released on parole in February, 2010. He is accused of stabbing a former friend in the head and neck on July 3, 2010. He fled the scene and has not been located since.
Artinger was arrested by Grand Junction, Colorado police officers responding to a complaint of a man possibly attempting to sell drugs. After being contacted by two uniformed officers and some conversation occurring, Artinger fled on foot but was eventually detained by officers. Artinger provided an assumed name and other identifying information and was subsequently booked on drug trafficking charges. His true identity was later discovered and confirmed through finger prints. His Parole Warrant and the warrant for Attempted Murder from Huntington Beach have been added to his charges. He is currently awaiting prosecution on the drug trafficking charges in the Mesa County, Colorado County Jail. His ultimate extradition to California will be determined at some later date.
The Huntington Beach Police Department would like to thank the many organizations and individuals who contributed to the capture of a dangerous, violent offender.

The two GJPD officers who arrested Artinger responded to a tip they received that a man was trying to sell drugs to students on the CMU campus.  The officers found the man, who said he was not a student, and began talking with him.  One of the officers spotted a backpack near the man, however the man said it did not belong to him.  When the officer opened it to try to find out who it belonged to he found what he believed to be illegal drugs inside.  The officers began to arrest the man, however he took off running.  The officers chased him on foot, and a CMU student who saw the chase tackled the man.  The officers then took him into custody without further incident.  The man was booked into jail under the name he had provided to officers and that was also found on items inside the backpack.

As noted in the news release above, the man’s fingerprints later came back as a positive match with the suspect wanted out of California.

GJPD Arrests Man for Multiple Vehicle Break-ins. More Than a Dozen Possible Victims Identified So Far #GVCopBeat

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GARRETTAUSTINPHOTO022714The Grand Junction Police Department has arrested a man who is believed to have broken into more than a dozen vehicles near the CMU campus overnight.

Just before 5:30 this morning officers were dispatched to a parking lot in the 900 block of Glenwood Ave. for a man who was seen trying the door handles of cars.  The man would duck down when cars passed by him.

Officers found a man matching the suspect’s description sitting the driver seat of a car with the driver side door open.  He appeared to be reaching toward the glove box at the time.  When officers spoke with him they noticed his pockets were overly full and he had a backpack with a drill and tool box sticking out it.  The man, later identified as 22-year-old Garrett Austin, initially said he owned the car, but did not know who the car was registered to.  He later told officers he did not know whose vehicle he had been in, and that he did not have permission to be in it.

Officers arrested Austin on charges of felony 1st degree criminal trespass of autos and misdemeanor theft.  He also received a possession of a dangerous or illegal weapon charge because officers found a butterfly knife in his pants pocket when they searched him.

Officers have continued investigating throughout this morning, and at this point have identified 16 possible victims related to this case.  There is a possibility that there are other victims who haven’t yet realized their cars were also broken into.  If you believe you are a victim in this case you can call 970-242-6707 to report it.

GJPD Investigating Possible Scam Involving Baby Item Donations #GVCopBeat

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The Grand Junction Police Department has received several complaints from residents who believe they have been scammed by a local woman out of more than a thousand dollars worth of baby items.  The victims say they responded to a Facebook post that was asking for donations of baby items for newborn triplets.  At this point in our investigation we believe the woman asking for the donations was using a fake name on Facebook.

Our investigators have spoken with the woman we believe was asking for the donations and have collected items related to donations she received.  She has not been charged with any crimes at this point, however we are still investigating.  We advise people to stop donating to this person until we have concluded our investigation.

If you have already donated items and believe you are a victim of a scam, or if you have any further information about this case, please call 970-242-6707 to report it.

Do You Know Who Owns This Truck? GJPD Investigating Possible Stolen Vehicle #GVCopBeat #gjco #mesacounty

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IMG_1516The Grand Junction Police Department is trying to identify the owner of this older model, purple, Ford pickup truck.  At this time we believe the truck may have been stolen.  We recently recovered it in Grand Junction.  If you know who the owner is please call 970-242-6707.

Because this is part of an ongoing investigation we are not able to provide further details, however any help you can provide in connecting us with the owner of this truck is greatly appreciated.

IMG_1515 IMG_1514 IMG_1513

Crime of the Week for February 20, 2014 #MCCrimeStoppers #GVCopBeat

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Crime Stoppers Logo

Crime Stoppers Bulletin for February 20, 2014

This week Crime Stoppers of Mesa County needs your help to identify and locate the subjects that were involved in a burglary.

On Sunday, December 8, 2013 just after 9:30 pm the Grand Junction Police Department responded to a report of a residential burglary in the 1900 block of Grand Avenue. The unknown subjects forced entry into the back door. Once inside, they removed several items including a silver wrist watch, Mac Laptop computer, a 42 inch LG LCD TV, Funai DVD player, several movies, a Play Station 3 and Nintendo 64 game consoles, several Play Station 3 and Nintendo 64 controllers and games, various clothing and a pair of red/white/blue Air Jordan shoes. The total estimated property loss is over $2,500.

If you know the identity or location of the subjects 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

Case # 13-60827

GJ Woman Reported Missing Has Been Located #GVCopBeat

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Thinelk locatedGrand Junction Police Department investigators have found 27-year-old Andrea Thinelk.  Thinelk’s roommate reported her missing this week, after Thinelk failed to return home for several days.

Read our previous post on Ms. Thinelk here.

Thinelk left home on her own accord, and had been staying with different friends in the Grand Junction area.  Investigators received a tip that she might return home to collect some of her belongings, and went to her residence to wait for her.  When detectives spoke with Thinelk she said she was not aware that she had been reported missing.

The Grand Junction Police Department is thankful for the community’s help in locating Ms. Thinelk.


Upcoming Sexually Violent Predator Community Notification #GVCopBeat #gjco #mesacounty

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In accordance with state law, the Grand Junction Police Department will be conducting a Community Notification regarding a state classified sexually violent predator (SVP) that is moving into our city.  On Thursday, February 6 we will be using Mesa County Cable Channel 12 to present the information to the public.  The approximately 20 minute program will air at 7:00am, 12:30pm, and 7:00pm, and will include educational information about sex offenders and those classified as sexually violent predators, as well as specific information about the SVP that is moving to our area.

Local media will also receive information about the SVP on Thursday, and we will update this blog with his information as well.  We will also be mailing information to those living near the SVP’s address.

A list of registered sex offenders currently living in Mesa County, including a map of their locations, can be viewed on the websites of all of the police and sheriff agencies in Mesa County, or by visiting

More information about SVPs can be found here.