Walt Vanatta: Police beat for February | CraigDailyPress.com

Walt Vanatta: Police beat for February

Walt Vanatta

Below is Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta’s monthly report to the Craig City Council regarding police department activity for February.

Crime summary:

The department responded to 1,001 requests for service in February, and Community Service responded to 137 requests for service.

Crimes of the month (written by Sgt. John Forgay):

The second month of 2012 is gone and crime has virtually ceased in Craig. OK, not. Really, it’s more like the energizer bunny — it keeps going and going.

A citizen reported a broken door to a business and possibly a suspect inside that business. Officers arrived and found the suspect hiding behind a door in a back room.

A synopsis of the brief discussion:

Why did you break in?

“Just drunk.”

The Items in your pocket are stolen.

“Prove it.”

Have you been using any other drugs?

“I wish.”

What is your address?

“Moffat County Jail.”

The last one was a little premature, but eventually correct.

A little late night shopping (shoplifting) at a local business resulted in an 18-year-old female and a 20-year-old male getting arrested. It seems it was just important to steal more than $1,000 worth of goods, ranging from digital equipment, cosmetics, watches, GPS units, etc., from the business. It was so important they disregarded the surveillance cameras inside and outside of the business.

Also, it was so important that they needed to pull over and admire their stolen loot just a short distance from the business while the police were looking for them. Then, as the officers spotted their vehicle, they approached as the suspects sat in the vehicle (still admiring). Long story short, busted.

A 58-year-old male was observed putting a bag of dog bones in his coat at another business. Yep, busted, and he remarked about being caught on other occasions shoplifting. He even added he had money to buy the items and doesn’t know why he does it. Just hope he has a dog.

A local liquor store reported a shoplifting in which employees watched the suspect walk away from the store and down a nearby street.

Officers checked the area, but did not locate the male.

Two days later, the same male came in and again stole a bottle of liquor. As before, he walked away in the same direction. Officers soon arrested the male (a parolee) at a home several blocks away. Really not too difficult to do after a fresh blanket of snow and the telltale shoe prints that said “he went that away boys.”

Younger people might not recall the Abbott and Costello skit called “Who’s on first,” a play on names involving a baseball game that gets very confusing and funny. When officers try to clarify information in cases, the confusing factors often get in the way. Such was the case when a 3-year-old was taken to the hospital emergency room, exhibiting disturbing physical behavior.

It was found he had THC, the marijuana chemical derivative in his system, apparently ingesting a marijuana-laced cookie. The doctor advised that this could have resulted in tragic consequences for the child.

Mom knew he ingested the cookie, but didn’t know it contained the drug.

It appears the cookie originated from a dispensary and had changed hands several times before the child ate it. Not funny, just stupid.

Community service:

Community Service Officers Connie Davis, Josh Wright, and Jill Nelson handled the following calls in February:

• Red-tagged nine abandoned vehicles. No vehicles were towed.

• No weed complaints

• Four code violations

• Forty junk/trash violations

• Twenty-nine administrative warnings for abandoned vehicles were issued.

• Eight parking violation warnings were issued.

• Two parking citations were issued.

• One code citation was issued.


On Feb. 27, records technician Terrianne Wheeler participated in the Rio Blanco County Children’s Health Fair in Meeker. Terrianne advised participants on the proper installation of child restraint systems (car seats) as well as distributing current laws regarding child restraint systems.

Terrianne also attended the Rio Blanco County Children’s Health Fair in Rangely on March 5 and 6.


• On Feb. 22, all patrol officers participated in defensive tactics training in the wrestling room at Moffat County High School.

• Several officers and civilian employees have completed courses through video and online training by CIRSA.


• Officer testing took place Feb. 6. Two officers were hired to fill positions vacated by Carolyn Miller and Frank Schmedeke. Miller resigned her position as domestic violence/sexual assault specialist effective Dec. 7, 2011.

Corporal Travis Young was selected to fill this position. The date of his transfer into investigations will be somewhat dependent on when we get the two new officers hired. The target date for hiring the two officers is the end of March.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User