Editor’s note: The Rifle Police Department and Garfield County Sheriff’s Office reports the following incidents and arrests. Summonses or arrests merely indicate an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless found guilty in court.
Gas station scam: Rifle police are investigating a scam operation that bilked two local gas stations out of approximately $2,700 over the weekend of July 12-13.
The scam involves someone calling the gas station, claiming they are corporate or management officials and are auditing that store’s tellers, or that there are discrepancies in the deposits eluding to an employee theft. The caller has the teller count the cash drawer out loud while on the phone. Once they have the amount, the teller is told to put the money in a deposit bag and that somebody will pick up the deposit to take it straight to the bank.
In both Rifle occurrences, at Bookcliff Car Wash, 134 W. Centennial Parkway, and the City Market gas station at 14th Street and Railroad Avenue, the tellers were told that the caller’s nephew would pick up the money. Someone showed up, took the money, put the bag in his pants and left on foot.
Police Chief John Dyer said the caller is very convincing; he knows names of key people and says enough right things that the teller believes they are talking to the right person. As part of the scam, a female accomplice may pick up an application about an hour before the phone call and ask for the manager’s name, Dyer added, which may explain the accuracy of information given by the caller.
Along with the two Rifle businesses, stores in Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction were also victims of the scam, Dyer said. Other area gas stations have been made aware of the scam and Rifle investigators are working with other agencies to coordinate investigations, Dyer added.
Domestic arrest: Deputies responded to a call on U.S. Highway 6 east of Rifle on July 8 at 2:10 p.m. Brenda Joyce Vasquez, 59, of Rifle, was arrested on suspicion of child abuse – negligence, domestic violence and harassment and taken to jail.
Assault report: Deputies received a report of an assault in the 200 block of Tamarisk Trail in Battlement Mesa on July 9 at 11:15 a.m. This case is open and under investigation.
Impersonation: Deputies contacted a man on River Frontage Road in Silt on July 9 at 10:43 p.m. Christopher Scott Hart, 30, of Silt, was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, criminal impersonation, possession of drug paraphernalia and introducing contraband. He was taken to jail.
Domestic violence: Deputies responded to a call on Promontory Place in Battlement Mesa on July 10 at 5:10 p.m. Nouveau Kay Boschee, 24, of Battlement Mesa, was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, criminal tampering, harassment, criminal mischief, negligence and reckless endangerment. She was taken to jail.
Assault: Deputies responded to a call in the Garfield County Jail, 107 Eighth St. in Glenwood Springs, on July 10 at 5:12 p.m. Cathy Lanette Thomas, 43, of Rifle, was arrested on suspicion of second degree assault.
Traffic arrest: Deputies made a traffic stop in the 100 block of Railroad Avenue in Rifle on July 11 at 5:44 a.m. Ronald Jay Lusk, 35, of Lochbuie, Colo., was arrested on suspicion of driving with a revoked license and careless driving and was taken to jail.