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2 arrested after pursuit of stolen car
From Silverton Standard, the place where you can write!
Posted on January 04 2018, 1:57pm by Mark Esper in Local News category

A wild car chase through Silverton and on U.S. 550 into La Plata County ended with the arrest of two people Wednesday night, according to San Juan County Sheriff Bruce Conrad.

The drama began at 6:53 p.m., when Deputy John Jacobs got a report that a late model Subaru Forester, which was left running to warm it up, was stolen in town.

“He (Jacobs) calls me out and I respond in my personal vehicle,” said Undersheriff Steve Lowrance. “So we start looking around town for the vehicle.”

Meanwhile, a report came in of an abandoned vehicle partially blocking U.S. 550 just south of town. It was a white GMC Yukon.

“The vehicle turns out to have been stolen from Grand Junction,” Conrad said.

“So I was sitting with the stolen vehicle, waiting for it to be towed, and John was looking for the new stolen vehicle,” Lowrance said.

“So he’s out looking for the Forester and the Forester goes by me,” Lowrance said.

It was headed northbound back toward Silverton.

Lowrance figures they may have gotten lost.

Lowrance said he followed the vehicle back to Silverton and tried to block it in with his personal vehicle.

“They go around me. I’m chasing it around town.”

Soon Deputy Jacobs joined the hot pursuit on Silverton’s streets.

“At the grocery on Greene Street I got him at 57 mph,” Jacobs said.

“They ripped around town a few times before heading south,” Conrad said.

Sheriff Conrad joined in the pursuit as the suspects headed toward Molas Pass.

“It was 21 miles of high-speed, dangerous pursuit,” Conrad said, adding that the woman passenger “was throwing everything out the window at us — floor mats, everything,” as the chase continued south on U.S. 550.

And Conrad said the driver was swerving at oncoming traffic, prompting deputies to back off a bit.

“We had units coming up from the south,” Conrad said, and a spike strip was placed south of Purgatory.

But the stolen vehicle dodged the spike strips and headed into Purgatory Resort.

“We chased them around Purgatory till we got to a dead end,” Conrad said. The two suspects then fled into nearby woods but were soon captured.

“They bailed from the car,” Lowrance said. “Myself and two La Plata deputies found tracks and gave chase. We found them about 100 yards from the vehicle, which is why I’m sore as hell today.”

“The vehicle’s in pretty good shape,” Conrad said. “Nobody got hurt.” He said the two suspects have extensive criminal histories. And that no weapons were involved.

And Conrad said Silverton resident Donnie Curnow and others helped pick up the debris left strewn on U.S. 550.

Conrad said there seems to be more criminals using the U.S. 550 corridor.

“It’s pretty amazing. We used to get one or two or maybe three bulletins a month. Now it’s four or five a day,” Conrad said.

Lowrance said he may need to get a “Kojac” light for his personal vehicle, referring to the 1970s TV drama.

He recalled calling into the radio that “I need someone with red and blue lights.”

Arrested were Joshua Critchfield, 22, and Sage Cornell, age 28, both of Grand Junction.

They’re being held at the La Plata County jail.







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