Crime Briefs: New Castle man charged in crime spree
Tarran Lee Downing, the 23-year-old New Castle man accused of robbing the Red River Inn in March, is also facing charges in two other cases.
Earlier that month he was committing other crimes across Garfield County, according to three different law enforcement agencies.
On March 3, the owner of Nevarez Automotive in Silt told police one of his employees had mistakenly left the keys in a customer’s car, a black Audi A6, which was stolen.
The repair shop owner told police he found the vehicle in Parachute, where he saw a thin man in his early 20s behind the wheel. The driver fled on foot, the shop owner told police.
Near the stolen car police also found a backpack containing “a cordless Dremel rotary tool, several hand tools, a large knife, a ski mask, several bottles of prescription pills and paperwork” that included Downing’s booking sheets from jail.
Then, Silt police say, Downing robbed the Red River Inn at gunpoint on March 19, getting away with $224. Investigators found the handgun discarded nearby – and it turned out to be a BB gun.
On March 21 an employee at the Rifle Comfort Inn found her laptop and cell phone had been stolen from the front desk. Using a “Find my iPhone” application, she could see her phone moving around near a trailer park in Silt.
Officers later recovered the items from a couple’s residence in Silt, but the pair said the computer and phone didn’t belong to them. They said Downing and a friend had been by the previous night.
Rifle police found Downing on the 100 block of East Eighth Street on March 22.
During interrogation, police say he admitted to stealing the laptop and cell phone and to stealing the Audi from the Silt repair shop.
In these three cases, he faces charges of aggravated motor vehicle theft, a class 5 felony; possession of burglary tools, a class 5 felony; theft, a class 6 felony; aggravated robbery, a class 3 felony; aggravated menacing with a gun, a class 5 felony; and misdemeanor theft.
A CRASH, VIOLENCE AND DRUGS
Carbondale police tracked down and arrested a 38-year-old man after a woman came banging on the Police Department’s back door saying he’d beaten her and crashed her truck.
Shaking and crying, she told police that he’d been drinking and taking Xanax while driving. Holding a butterfly knife in his hand, he told her that “if she runs her mouth, he will give her another black eye as he had in the past,” according to an affidavit.
While driving on Merrill Avenue, he started dozing off and crashed her Ford F-150 into a guardrail. She left to get her car and picked the man up. Then he blamed her for the wreck and began punching her in the face, she told police.
Police found the man waiting at Carbondale’s Roaring Fork Transportation Authority park and ride.
He ignored officer’s commands to stand up and turn around. At one point he started coming at an officer, and the officer neared used his Taser on the man.
Searching the 38-year-old, police found a plastic bag containing about 4 grams of what they thought was cocaine.
He was arrested on charges of aggravated menacing, a class 5 felony, and possession of a controlled substance, a level 4 drug felony. Among his misdemeanor charges were possession of an illegal weapon, failure to report an accident, violation of a restraining order, driving under the influence, driving while revoked as a habitual traffic offender and third-degree assault. He was also charged with domestic violence, which could be used as a sentence enhancer.
pair of drug arrests
Last week Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team, the county’s drug task force, made a pair of drug arrests.
TRIDENT ran a drug sting that ended in the arrest of Jonathan Kreykenbohm, 39.
Kreykenbohm was arrested in October by TRIDENT and Silt Police after fleeing a traffic stop. He was found with methamphetamine at that time.
Last week the task force set up a methamphetamine buy from Kreykenbohm in a sting organized with Glenwood Springs police, but they also found heroin in his vehicle, according to a press release.
He was arrested on charges of possession of a schedule I controlled substance, attempted distribution of a schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In another case TRIDENT worked with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office in the arrest of a 50-year-old after stopping him for suspicious activity, according to a press release.
Authorities found he was in a vehicle stolen from Grand Junction, and a drug dog found the odor of narcotics coming from the vehicle. Inside TRIDENT officers found what they suspected to be methamphetamine.
He was arrested on charges of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and aggravated motor vehicle theft.
The charges in both of these cases carry up to 2 to 24 years in prison and $3,000 to $750,000 in fines, according to TRIDENT.
Phone scaM WARNING
Phone scams targeting people dealing with tax season are becoming prevalent across the country, warns the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
The IRS wants to draw people’s attention to these scams, which usually offer to pay your tax bill quickly or get your refund faster.
Another recent local scam is from a caller claiming to be from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, saying that the you’ve missed jury duty and now have a warrant for your arrest.
This scammer is apparently brazen enough to operate right outside the sheriff’s office and courthouse in Glenwood Springs.
The caller gives instructions for how to pay a fine, which involves getting a cashier’s check and bringing it to the sheriff’s office in Glenwood Springs.
The caller usually then gives his personal cell phone number and asks the victim to call on his or her cell phone so he can identify them outside the building.
The sheriff’s office wants to remind people that warrants are served in person and the IRS will only contact you through the traditional mail.
Reward IN Boutique HEIST
Crime Stoppers of Garfield County is seeking information about the robbery March 29 at Gloria’s Boutique in Carbondale.
At about 6 p.m. a masked man robbed the store at gunpoint and made off on Rio Grande Trail with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Police are looking for a thin man standing 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-6 with black hair.
Since the robbery, the ski mask that he was wearing has been found and is being analyzed by Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest or indictment of the suspect.
If you have information about this crime, contact Lt. Chris Wurtsmith of the Carbondale Police Department at 907-963-2675. To leave anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers call 970-945-0101 or visit garcocrimestoppers.com.
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Two juveniles were detained Thursday in Carbondale, and police across the country are apparently on alert for students acting out on a new social media challenge to shoot people with non-lethal gel beads.