Gregory Stearns, 20,is accused of first-degree motor vehicle theft among other charges.
The Grand Junction Police Department was dispatched to High Desert Auto Sales on Thursday after the business had reportedly been broken into and four vehicles stolen out of the lot, according to the arrest affidavit.
When officers arrived at the scene they saw that a window of the business had been broken and was large enough for a person to walk through. A rock was found inside the business and the key box on the wall had been broken into and all of the keys stolen, the affidavit said.
After searching the area for the stolen vehicles, one was seen driving nearby and reportedly fled an officer that attempted to pull it over.
Several men eventually excited the vehicle and were pursued by officers.
One of the men, later identified as Sterans, was reportedly located laying down on a concrete ledge behind a large green dumpster.
Gregory admitted to police that he broke into the business but did not say who was with him.
In total, four vehicles were stolen and recovered, one of which was used in the commission of another crime and 17 vehicle keys were stolen and recovered, the affidavit said.
AIR-AMBULANCE COMPANY AGREES TO PAY $825,000 SETTLEMENT
United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced on Friday that Air Methods Corporation has agreed to pay $825,000 to settle a civil case alleging that the company violated Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) regulations by operating an emergency-services helicopter with severely corroded pitot tubes.
Pitot tubes are components of the pressure measurement system used to determine airspeed. If a pitot tube is not functioning properly, it can cause the airspeed reflected on a helicopter’s instruments to vary significantly from the actual airspeed, cause the helicopter’s auto-pilot to disengage, and present serious safety concerns, the press release said.
Air Methods, headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado, is reportedly the country’s largest air medical transport services provider. It provides emergency transportation to trauma victims, and other patients requiring urgent transfers between medical facilities on its fleet of more than 450 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.
The United States reports that on November 4, 2014, an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector inspected an Air Methods helicopter in Tampa, Florida. During that inspection, the safety inspector reportedly noticed that the helicopter’s pitot tubes were severely corroded and crumbling to the touch. The inspector informed Air Methods and took photographs to document the corrosion.
The photographers were observed by experts in the field who said they were “obviously” outside the scope of what was serviceable. Even so, Air Methods continued to operate the helicopter with severely corroded pitot tubes for several more days before replacing the parts, the United States contends.
On November 4, 2019, the United States filed a civil action against the company, seeking to recover civil penalties from Air Methods.
Air Methods has now agreed to pay $825,000 to settle the lawsuit.
“When an FAA safety inspector informs an air-ambulance company about a potential safety issue, the company needs to address it immediately,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “The consequences of not working cooperatively with the FAA to minimize safety risks can be disastrous for the crew and for those being transported while seriously ill or injured. This settlement reflects how seriously we take any regulatory violations that could create such unnecessary risks.”