Crime Briefs: Man banned from store after shoplifting whiskey returns is arrested |

Crime Briefs: Man banned from store after shoplifting whiskey returns is arrested

Ryan Summerlin

On Dec. 17, Garfield County deputies responded to an assault at Catherine Store, where the owner reported that she was slapped by a man who was trespassing.

A 26-year-old man who was barred from the premises was back at the store trying to buy beer.

The man had often gotten off the bus there, and the store owner suspected that he was returning home after working in Aspen. She had previously barred him from the store because she believed he had been shoplifting whiskey. Employees at the store also told deputies that they often had to refuse him service, as he kept coming back after being banned.

During the most recent incident, the store owner confronted the man and told him that he had to leave. After some resistance, he walked outside but remained just outside the doors. She went outside and told him that if he did not leave, she would call police. Instead of leaving, he called her a bitch, and when she began to call authorities, he “slapped her hand and the phone against her face,” she told deputies.

The phone flew onto the ground and the man picked it up and walked away.

Though he wasn’t immediately located, the 26-year-old man was arrested on Dec. 30 on felony second-degree burglary, as well as misdemeanors for theft, third-degree assault, obstruction of telephone services and second-degree trespassing.

Store manager arrested in $2,000-plus in thefts

Rifle police responded to reports of employee theft at an auto parts store on Wednesday morning.

A “loss prevention auditor” at the store reported that he had the suspected employee, a 33-year-old man, with him. The employee had also given him a written statement admitting the thefts.

The 33-year-old man had been with the company for about five years. He had been the manager since July.

In the last couple of months, over the course of 13 transactions, the 33-year-old had stolen $2,323.53 from the store, according to an affidavit.

According to police, the man was “falsifying returns for batteries and alternators.” The employee “was creating false return transactions and then taking the cash from the false transaction,” according to an affidavit.

The man was cooperative with police during the investigation and admitted to stealing the money, according to police. The employee told officers that he had gotten divorced and was in debt as a result. “Because of his debt and other personal dilemmas he made some bad choices,” according to an affidavit. Asked what he did with the money, the 33-year-old said that he paid his bills.

He was arrested on felony theft and misdemeanor second-degree forgery.

Woman found with numerous controlled substances

Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team officers spotted a silver Oldsmobile weaving on Colorado 13 in Rifle on Wednesday afternoon.

The 53-year-old woman who was driving did not have proof of insurance, so officers ordered a tow truck to impound the car.

When officers began inventorying the vehicle, which law enforcement routinely does before impounding a vehicle, the woman became agitated, complaining that officers were searching the vehicle, not inventorying it, according to an arrest report.

One task force officer found in the vehicle what he suspected to be methamphetamine. After cuffing the woman, an officer “advised [her] that now the vehicle inventory has turned into a probable cause search,” according to the officer’s report.

The officers found a bag containing a white crystalline substance that tested positive for meth, which weighed 6.9 grams. They also discovered “a clear glass methamphetamine pipe with residue,” 36 pills of Zolpidem, two pills of Oxycodone, two pills of methylphenidate, one pill capsule that contained MDMA and two uncapped hypodermic needles, according to TRIDENT.

She was arrested on felony charges of possession of a Schedule I controlled substance and two counts of possession of a Schedule II controlled substance. Her arresting charges also included misdemeanor possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance.

47-year-old arrested twice in two weeks on drug possession

A 47-year-old man has had a couple of run-ins with authorities in western Garfield County over the past month, both times being found with illegal drugs, according to police.

On Dec. 14, the 47-year-old was arrested in Silt after being involved in a disturbance at Kum & Go with a woman. He was found to be restrained by a protection order and the woman he was with was the protected party.

At the Garfield County Jail, detentions deputies found him with a bag of substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. His arresting charges included felony possession of a controlled substance and first-degree introduction of contraband.

Then, the day after Christmas, Rifle police spotted some suspicious activity when they noticed a truck turn off all its lights while driving in the dark at the fairgrounds.

The 47-year-old was found to be driving, while he also had a trespassing order barring him from the fairgrounds. Upon his arrest, officers found in his jacket pocket a pipe that contained a “significant amount of white residue,” which later tested positive for methamphetamine.

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