Police tie DNA of suspect to bank robbery

James Joseph Jones, 46 is awaiting trial on charges he robbed three Grand Junction businesses. Photo Special to the Sentinel.

A man awaiting trial on charges he robbed three Grand Junction businesses has been tied to the armed robbery of a Grand Junction bank using DNA, police said Friday.

James Joseph Jones, 46, is being held in the Utah County Jail in Orem, Utah, on a no-bond warrant and is awaiting extradition back to Mesa County, Grand Junction police spokeswoman Kate Porras said.

Detectives suspect Jones robbed First National Bank of the Rockies, 685 Horizon Drive, on Oct. 4, 2007; Johny’s Beer & Liquor, 666 Patterson Road, on Nov. 6, 2007; Wal-Mart, 2881 North Ave., on Jan. 8, 2008, and Blockbuster Video, 1133 Patterson Road.

Jones was arrested in January in Utah in connection with the robberies of Johny’s, Wal-Mart and Blockbuster. Police received a tip at the beginning of this year from a person who saw surveillance video from the Johny’s robbery and recognized the robber as Jones, who had received a summons for attempting to steal merchandise from Wal-Mart. Detectives then showed a photo lineup to Blockbuster employees who identified him as the person who robbed the video store, Porras said.

Police later obtained a court order to take a DNA sample from Jones, which was compared with evidence collected from the bank robbery. Last week, police received notification from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation that the DNA profile from the bank matched Jones, Porras said.

Jones was arrested Thursday night. He faces potential charges of aggravated robbery, theft, menacing with a deadly weapon and aggravated motor vehicle theft. The last count relates to a stolen motorcycle Jones allegedly used to get away in the bank robbery, police said.


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