The Western Colorado Auto Theft Task Force has made three arrests this week after a "bait" car was stolen two times.
According to Grand Junction police, a “bait” vehicle was parked near 30 ½ Rd and I70-B when officers were alerted that it was in motion. Using a computer tracking system the officers found it in the 600 block of 33 Rd. where someone had parked it in front of a house.
Police say 45-year-old Kevin Butler, a resident of the house where the vehicle was parked, had stolen the vehicle and brought it to his home. Officers booked him into the Mesa County Jail on aggravated motor vehicle theft and felony theft charges.
On Wednesday, September 12, officers again received an alert that the bait vehicle was in motion. Officers tracked the vehicle, which had been parked near N. Westgate Dr. and Weslo Ave.
Within seconds of using the police radio to notify other officers of the vehicle’s location, the driver made an abrupt turn, and minutes later responding officers found it abandoned in the middle of the road. The suspects had fled the scene.
Investigators were able to obtain surveillance photos of the vehicle as it was being stolen on Wednesday, including photos of a pickup truck driven by the suspects, and the suspects themselves.
Police say a detective working an unrelated case noticed that one of the suspects and the pickup matched the suspect in his case.
Investigators identified that suspect as 28-year-old Cody Guerrero.
Officers found Guerrero at a park and booked him into jail on September 13, on an outstanding warrant. Further investigation linked him to the theft of the bait vehicle, and as a result he now faces aggravated motor vehicle theft and felony theft charges.
Officers also arrested a second person, 36-year-old Felipe De Jesus Rodriquez, who is also believed to be connected to this theft.