Blotter, Sept. 15, 2012

Coroner IDs man’s body

A body discovered Wednesday in an irrigation canal in Fruita was identified by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office as 34-year-old Donald A. VanMatre of Grand Junction.

The coroner’s office said Friday that VanMatre drowned and ruled the manner of death as an accident. His blood alcohol level was 0.346, more than four times the limit for a motorist to be considered intoxicated.

A woman retrieving her mail Wednesday afternoon found VanMatre’s body in the canal.

Coroner’s officials said they believe VanMatre was walking to visit a friend when he fell into the canal. His body traveled 17 miles through the canal system before being discovered.

3 arrested in ‘bait car’ cases


The Grand Junction Police Department said three men, Kevin Butler, 45, Cody Guerrero, 28, and Felipe De Jesus Rodriguez, 36, were arrested on suspicion of charges relating to a pair of auto thefts that happened Sunday and Wednesday.

Both thefts involved so-called police “bait cars,” which are vehicles designed to shut down remotely after being stolen by suspects. The initiative was started last year by the Western Colorado Auto Theft Task Force.

Medical pot crop targeted


The Mesa County Sheriff’s Department said a licensed medical marijuana grower in the 1000 block of I 1/2 Road reported on Sept. 8 the theft of three marijuana plants.

The plants were reportedly premature and not ready for harvest, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Lisa McCammon said.


According to the Grand Junction Police Department:

■ A man reported Tuesday that a stereo system was stolen from his pickup parked in the Colorado Mesa University parking garage.

■ A vehicle was reported stolen Aug. 23 from the 2600 block of Belford Avenue.

■ Damage was estimated at less than $2,000 in a criminal mischief incident at 602 Burkey St.

■ A15-year-old female assaulted another juvenile female Monday in the 1400 block of North Fifth Street.

■ Items valued at less than $500 were stolen from a vehicle parked in the 500 block of North Westgate on Wednesday.

■ Items valued at less than $1,000 were stolen from a vehicle parked at 2685 Del Mar Drive on Thursday.


According to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department:

■ Deputies were called to a burglary reported early Friday in the 500 block of Pearce Street.

■ Deputies were called to a reported burglary Monday in the 500 block of East Valley Drive.

■ An assault was reported Wednesday in the 3100 block of Parkland Court.

■ A burglary was reported Sept. 8 in the 400 block of Mountainside Drive.

■ Roughly 700 gallons of diesel fuel were stolen from a fenced construction site.

■ A burglary was reported Aug. 29 at a home in the 400 block of Ol Sun Drive.

■ Deputies found multiple marijuana plants and marijuana-related items after searching a home Sept. 5 in the 500 block Tiara Drive. The case was sent to the District Attorney’s office for possible charges.


According to the Delta Police Department:

■ Veronica R. Munoz, 23, of Clifton, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of third-
degree assault.

■ Tami K. Snelling, 43, was cited Wednesday for suspicion of keeping a disorderly home.


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