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Medicine Container Lying In Stolen Car Helps Wheat Ridge Officer Apprehend Suspect

(CBS4) - A police officer in Wheat Ridge saw a piece of evidence in a stolen car over the weekend and it quickly led to the arrest of an apparent car thief.

medicine
(credit: Wheat Ridge Police)

Wheat Ridge Police Department shared a Facebook post on Wednesday that praised the officer's keen eye. They said they have been up to their ears dealing with 178 reported vehicle thefts so far this year, and that in many cases the car that's stolen is located. It's less likely, however, that the thief is caught.

"Fortunately, we do find many of them ... they're unoccupied and therefore an arrest is less likely," the department wrote in the post.

car
(credit: Wheat Ridge Police)

In the case over the weekend, an officer approached a car that was reported stolen in the parking lot of an American Motel. Inside was a medicine container with a prescription label and a name on the bottle. The officer looked up the name, determined who it was and saw a photo in the law enforcement database, and then suddenly spotted that same person walking away from the motel. When the officer asked the man to stop, he ran off. The officer chased the man down and captured him soon afterwards.

The person who was arrested was identified as Jonathan Gainey, 41, and police said he had a warrant out for his arrest in a different Colorado car theft case.

The vehicle that was stolen was returned to its owner in the Westminster area.

MORE: 11 People Indicted On Major Denver Auto Theft Ring; 1 Suspect Still On The Run

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