Garfield County Crime Briefs: Wyoming PD helps find Rifle car thief
February 8, 2019
Back on July 11, 2018, Rifle Police began investigating a stolen-vehicle case after receiving reports of a strange interaction at the local Kum and Go convenience store. With assistance from authorities in Wyoming, a suspect is now in custody in Garfield County.
In the initial report from July, a male party advised police that a female and male individual got into a vehicle matching the description of one of the stolen vehicles in question.
A Rifle Police officer attempted to make contact with the male driver, but he sped away after initial contact, according to a recent arrest affidavit in the case.
Police later found the vehicle abandoned. When officers ran the vehicle's identification number through dispatch it came back as stolen out of Union City, California, states the affidavit.
The next day, just before 8 p.m., police received a call from a business owner in Rifle who reported that his personal truck had been stolen overnight. He was less than a mile away from where police located the California stolen vehicle.
Using security cameras from the business, officers saw two suspects enter the alleged victim's stolen vehicle. The two suspects matched the description of the suspects who stole the vehicle from California.
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The following day, dispatch received a call that the alleged Rifle victim's stolen vehicle was recovered in Wyoming.
Using the photos of the suspects' booking from Wyoming, local police were able to confirm that they were the same suspects in the California car theft case, and the same ones from the Rifle incident. Surveillance video from the Rifle business helped to confirm this, according to the affidavit.
The female and male suspects were arrested in Wyoming. On Feb. 1, the female suspect, age 33, was booked into the Garfield County Jail for Class 5 felony theft (more than $5,000, but less than $20,000), among other charges.
BLUFF BREAKS CAR BREAK-IN CASE
Just before 3 p.m. on Feb. 4, officers were dispatched for a vehicle break-in in Rifle.
A female car owner said she had items stolen from her car after parking it in the parking lot behind her work on East Avenue at approximately 9:30 a.m., according to a arrest affidavit.
She said she had left the window down because she was smoking. When she returned to her car at 3 p.m., her blue jacket was missing along with a bottle of pills. Her wallet was also in the jacket pocket.
She reported that a black minivan parked next to her in the parking lot and it appeared that people were living in it. She asked the driver if he saw anything, and he said he did not.
The woman decided to look in the dumpster next to the parking lot and located her missing prescription bottle with a bag of trash she suspected belonged to the occupants of the van, according to the arrest affidavit.
Officers looked for security cameras, but none showed the area where the vehicle was parked.
A few days later, the officer was doing a patrol when he saw a vehicle matching the description of the black minivan. The officer spoke with the driver regarding the trespass case.
The officer told the driver that there was a security camera in the parking lot, and that he knew the driver of the van took the woman's jacket and wallet, states the affidavit. The officer told him to give back the items.
The driver hesitated and told the officer he did not have the items. The officer then asked the driver what he did with them, to which the suspect responded that he got rid of the wallet. He said he could show the officer where it was. He then retrieved the jacket from his van.
The man was charged with first-degree criminal trespass and driving without a license.