Supects arrested in back-to-back robberies, but one suspect still at large

Police assure that cases do not point to rise in crime

Casey Van Divier
cvandivier@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 12/31/19

Two cases garnering statewide media attention took place Dec. 14 and Dec. 18 in Arvada, with one suspect arrested in each — and, in the first, one suspect still at-large. On Dec. 14, a man told …

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Supects arrested in back-to-back robberies, but one suspect still at large

Police assure that cases do not point to rise in crime

Posted

Two cases garnering statewide media attention took place Dec. 14 and Dec. 18 in Arvada, with one suspect arrested in each — and, in the first, one suspect still at-large.

On Dec. 14, a man told police a man and a woman held him at gunpoint outside his home, while taking his keys. The two then stole the victim’s Dodge pickup truck, the release said.

Officers tracked and followed the vehicle, with the suspect firing at officers as they pursued, police said. The department issued a shelter-in-place warning for several hours for those in the area of W. 64th Avenue and Miller Street.

The driver ultimately crashed the vehicle and the two suspects attempted to flee the scene. One of the individuals, 23-year-old Crystal Trujillo, “was apprehended after a foot chase,” the release said, while the other suspect has yet to be located.

Detective David Snelling with the Arvada Police Department said police are now looking for the suspect and a third accomplice, who they believe may have helped him escape. The department is currently following multiple leads based on forensic evidence and surveillance footage taken from nearby doorbell cameras.

The department has described the suspect as a 5’5’’, 150-pound white male. The suspect has brown eyes and hair and is about 30 years old. The department is not yet releasing further information at this time, Snelling said.

Those with more information can reach the department at (720) 898-6729.

Robbery and shooting

Days later on Dec. 18, a second, unrelated case attracted more media attention when a Circle K convenience store and gas station at 9989 W. 80th Ave. was robbed.

The suspect, now arrested and identified by police as Samuel McConnell, allegedly robbed the convenience store cashier at gunpoint, stealing an estimated $200 or more, according to the arrest affidavit.

As the robbery was occurring, an off-duty Denver Police Department detective was there with his son, filling up his son’s truck when the robbery occurred, the affidavit said.

When the suspect left the convenience store, the detective “was armed and attempted to engage the suspect,” it said. “It appeared at least one bullet fired from the off-duty Denver Police Officer … hit the front windshield on the driver’s side of the suspect vehicle.”

The suspect returned fired and injured the detective, who was treated on-scene by his son until first responders arrived, the affidavit said.

Denver Police Department officials have since identified the detective as Michael Felsoci, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the suspect fled the scene in a champagne-colored Chevy Equinox, later telling detectives that his 2-year-old daughter was in the car during the incident, the affidavit said.

The department requested the public’s help in locating the vehicle and suspect, with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation sending out a statewide emergency alert that afternoon.

Later Dec. 18, a resident called in an anonymous tip and the vehicle was located outside an apartment complex in the 8300 block of Sheridan Boulevard.

While officers were on the scene, McConnell left his apartment to walk his dog. Officers approached and ultimately arrested McConnell. He was arrested “without incident,” Snelling said.

McConnell admitted to shooting the detective, robbing the Circle K Dec. 18, robbing a Winchell’s Donut House in Westminster Dec. 17 and robbing another Circle K in Erie Dec. 16, the affidavit said. McConnell also reportedly told police he committed the robberies because he needed the money to purchase oxycodone.

McConnell has been booked into the Jefferson County Jail on multiple charges including attempted first-degree murder and aggravated robbery, according to a department media release.

Felsoci was treated at Denver Health Medical Center after being “shot at least twice,” or at least once in each arm, the affidavit said.

During a media briefing, Denver police chief Paul Pazen said Felsoci, who has been with the department around 14 years, was in fair condition.

“The detective displayed great courage here, interrupting somebody who’s armed and dangerous,” he said. “I know this impacts every member of the department that wears this badge as well as every family member who supports our department.”

On Dec. 21, Denver police tweeted that Felsoci had been released from the medical center that day.

Following the two incidents, the Arvada Police Department has heard concerns from residents on social media that crime appears to be on the rise, Snelling said.

However, despite the two noteworthy cases this month, the department doesn’t believe crime is dramatically increasing, Snelling said — rather, crime consistently “ebbs and flows.”

Further, crime is “much more noticeable because of social media and people’s request for transparency,” he said.

But he added that social media has also aided in crime-solving, referring not only to the Wednesday shooting, but also to two Dec. 21 burglaries. Within two hours of posting about the two burglaries on social media, police had a tip they planned to follow to make an arrest, Snelling said.

“We put it out there, and we’re solving these a lot quicker,” he said.

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