GJ man linked to robberies last month
A Grand Junction man has been arrested in connection with last month’s robberies of a Rite Aid store near Mesa State College and Vectra Bank near Mesa Mall.
Mitchell Lee Reeves, 27, was taken into custody late Thursday night at a house in the 1500 block of White Avenue. Grand Junction police didn’t have a current address for him and declined to release his mug shot Friday, citing an ongoing investigation.
Police allege Reeves got away with more than $1,000 in prescription painkillers from Rite Aid, 1834 N. 12th St., on May 8 and about $800 cash from Vectra Bank, 2394 F Road, on May 29.
According to an arrest affidavit, Rite Aid pharmacy employees told officers a man laid a black handgun on the counter and demanded all of their oxycodone and fentanyl medication. Vectra Bank tellers told police a man who acted politely and was visibly shaking demanded money and left in a white cargo van with red stripes.
In both robberies, employees described the robber as a white man between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10 with a thin build and very short hair. In both instances, the man was wearing a long-sleeve, button-up shirt.
Police received an anonymous tip May 13 that Reeves was the person who robbed Rite Aid and that he was a painter who drove a white van and lived in an apartment across from the Racquet Club Apartments at 2915 Orchard Ave., according to the affidavit.
Officers checked a law-enforcement computer database and found Reeves had been issued a ticket in January while driving a white GMC van. The license plate was registered to a woman at an apartment in the 500 block of Garfield Drive, which is across the street from the Racquet Club Apartments, the affidavit said.
Police went to the apartment Monday to try to contact the woman or Reeves. They ultimately learned from the landlord that the two were divorced and had moved out six months ago.
That same day, police contacted Reeves’ ex-wife and showed her surveillance images from the Rite Aid and Vectra Bank robberies. She looked at them and indicated she was “100 percent” sure the robber was Reeves, the affidavit said.
The ex-wife said she divorced Reeves in part because he was addicted to oxycodone and fentanyl. She said he has his own painting business but suffered a herniated disc in his back. She said a local doctor prescribed him painkillers and that Reeves used some of them but also began selling them, the affidavit said.
Police showed photo lineups containing Reeves’ picture to several employees. Two Rite Aid employees identified Reeves as the robber. A Vectra Bank teller told police she recognized the suspect in the Rite Aid robbery as a family friend and said she was “99 percent” sure it was Reeves, the affidavit said.
Reeves made his first appearance in court Friday via video feed from Mesa County Jail and was advised he could face four counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of theft and a single count of menacing with a deadly weapon.
Mesa County Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Brown said Reeves faces a minimum of 30 years in prison if convicted of three counts of aggravated robbery.
Reeves told County Judge Gretchen Larson he’s never been in trouble before and asked for a personal recognizance bond so he could get out and spend time with his daughter and get his “legal stuff together.”
Larson rejected Reeves’ request and ordered him held on a $100,000 secured bond.