The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office made two arrests related to a string of car break-ins at Grand Junction, Colorado area trailheads.

These events serve as an urgent reminder to lock your vehicles and take your valuables with you when visiting Western Colorado trails.

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Two Arrests On the Colorado National Monument

On June 2, 2022, deputies responded to assist Monument Rangers with a traffic stop on the Colorado National Monument. Two men were taken into custody. They have been identified as:

  • Armando Roman Vasquez, 28, of New York
Armando Roman Vasquez
Mesa County Sheriff's Office
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  • Piero Boris Moras Sanchez, 30, of New York
Piero Moras Sanchez
Mesa County Sheriff's Office
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Stolen Property Recovered

According to a post from crimewatch.net dated June 8, 2022, Mesa County Sheriff's Office deputies recovered stolen property from recent car break-ins and referred the case to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office property crimes investigation unit.

Investigators believe the pair to be responsible for a number of break-ins at:

  • Independence Monument trailhead
  • Liberty Cap Trailhead
  • Coke Ovens overlook
  • Chipeta Golf Course.

Other Charges

Crimewatch.net added the suspects also match the individuals seen in surveillance video using stolen credit cards from recent thefts at Grand Junction area businesses.

Roman Vasquez and Moras Sanchez have been arrested and are facing the following charges:

  • Two counts of Theft from Motor Vehicle PO1
  • Two counts First Degree Criminal Trespass of Auto F5
  • Two counts of 2nd Deg Crim Trespass of MotorVeh - M2
  • Fraud ID Theft Possesses Info W/O Permission F5
  • Two counts of Fraud ID Theft With Intent to Defraud F4
  • Two counts of Fraud ID Theft Uses info to Obtain F4
  • Two counts of Theft $750 - $2000 – M1
  • Two counts of Theft $300 - $750 M2
  • Theft $1000-$2000 from MotorVeh - M1
  • Theft $2000 - $5000 F6
  • Criminal Mischief – Less than $300 – M3
  • Criminal Mischief - M2
  • Unauthorized Use of Financial Transaction Device F6
  • ID Theft - Possession W/ intent to use - M2
  • Criminal Attempt – PO1

Moras Sanchez was also arrested on an outstanding warrant from Alabama for similar crimes.

Urgent Reminder - Don't Leave Valuables In Your Car

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public to "leave all valuables at home before you hit the trail." Let's face it, when you're five miles down a trail, your car back at the trailhead is a sitting duck.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office reports a rise of thieves targeting parked cars at trailheads and going as far as to break windows and disable alarm systems. You're asked to take the following precautions:

  • Leave all valuables at home or take them with you on the trail
  • Lock your car
  • See something suspicious? Call 911

When hiking, the only thing of value I leave behind is a can of spray-on sunscreen. In the event someone feels they need it more than I do, all they have to do is ask. There's no need to break into my car. I would be happy to share.

WORTH THE TRIP: Hiking Liberty Cap Trail in Grand Junction

It was really simple to find as I put the location into GPS and it connects immediately, although there isn't a ton of parking so try to be respectful of others trying to use the trail.

During my hike, I decided to walk around and try to take lots of beautiful photos as I knew this would probably be my last hike for a while. Here are some of the shots I got this past weekend on my hike.

WORTH THE TRIP: Take the Amazing Hike at Rifle Falls

LOCAL HIKE: Grand Junction's Ribbon Trail Offers Views for Days

For those that want to see some great scenery but don't want to work for it, the Ribbon Trail is the perfect destination hike for non-hikers.

The Ribbon Trail Hike itself is about 7 miles in length and quite strenuous. But, the first part of the trail from the upper trailhead to Ribbon Rock is not difficult at all. The hike is about 1/4 mile and takes you to some pretty incredible scenery in western Colorado.