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Mesa County Sheriff's Office
Law Operations Division
Property Crimes Unit 
  • The Mesa County Sheriff's Office has three sworn Investigators, one Sergeant, and one Fraud Investigator who are assigned to investigate and prosecute felony property crimes. If a homicide occurs, all of these investigators will be used in that investigation also.

    Basic Crime Definitions:
    (Click on the definition for additional information)

  •  Arson

    This is when a suspect sets fire to or uses explosives to damage or destroy property; this includes setting fire to your own property to defraud. If the damage is valued over $100 it is a felony, if less than $100 it is a misdemeanor. The most common misdemeanor is when a field of weeds is set on fire...often from fireworks.

     Auto Theft

    This is when a suspect takes an automobile of another without permission or by deception. An automobile is any item that is self propelled, i.e. car, boat, plane, motorcycle, jet ski, etc... not trailers that must be pulled. Almost all auto thefts are felony crimes, the only exception is if the vehicle is valued at less than $500 and not gone more than 24 hours.


    This is when a suspect unlawfully enters in a building or occupied structure and commits another crime inside the structure, i.e. theft, assault, criminal mischief, etc. All burglaries are felony crimes and they USUALLY occur when no one is home.

     Criminal Mischief

    Often referred to as vandalism, this is when a suspect damages the property of another person. It is a felony if the damage is over $500 and a misdemeanor if the damage is under $500.

     Fraud / Forgery

    This usually involves financial crimes including writing bad checks, using or obtaining fraudulent credit cards, falsifying any part of official documents, signing another person's name, etc. The Sheriff's Office no longer handles most bad checks, a private company is now handling them and most are misdemeanor cases. Fraud by Check is a felony if over $500 and a misdemeanor if under $500. Forgery is classified as a felony in Colorado. Remember that if a credit card is falsely used, the credit card company is the victim and they decide if they want to pursue a criminal case.


    This is when a suspect takes anything of value from a person or in their presence by force, threat, or intimidation. Examples are convenience store robberies, bank robberies, a group of kids beating up another kid to steal his jacket, etc. All robberies are felony crimes.


    This is when a suspect takes anything of value that belongs to another person. If the value of the items is over $500 it is a felony, if under $500 it is a misdemeanor. The case may become a felony if more than two thefts are committed, i.e. windows smashed on 10 cars in one night, and the total value of stolen property is over $500. This category also includes Criminal Trespass, some cases commonly called theft from auto cases. That is when a suspect enters your automobile, whether locked or not, and steals something from within. Criminal trespass can also be into a home if no other crime occurs within the home. Theft from auto case are felony crimes, other trespasses can be either felony or misdemeanor, depending on what the suspect entered.

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