Crime spree ends in murder
A crime spree which began in Orangeville on Sept. 13 ended in Kansas with two people dead and two people behind bars.
According to Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon, Chad Allen of Orangeville had called the Sheriff's Office and reported that two compound bows and several guns were missing from his residence. This burglary was investigated by Deputy Doug Downard and Sergeant Les Wilberg. The Orangeville residence belongs to Chad Allen's father, William Allen.
The burglary suspects were Robert Poulsen, 30, of American Fork; Ryan Schenck, 26, of Provo, and Melissa Ricketts, 20, of Helper. The suspects had allegedly spent time at the residence earlier in the day and returned later to burglarize the home. The suspects hid the stolen items in the bushs near the home and returned later to retrieve them.
Neighbors reported seeing three people enter the house and leave with two bows. Detective Bob Blackburn processed the crime scene. Nothing further happened until, Gary Gardiner of Castle Dale received a phone call from the Mesa County Sheriff's Office stating that they had located his pickup in Colorado. Gardiner was unaware that his vehicle was missing until he was notified by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. At that point he notified the Emery County Sheriff's Office that his pickup had been stolen from the Chevron gas yard on coal haul road.
The three burglary suspects had stolen the vehicle possibly the morning of Sept. 14 after the Poulsen vehicle had broken down. It was determined that Poulsen had been camped in the area above the yard.
It is at this point in the story that things become confusing. The three suspects left the Emery County area and traveled to the Grand Junction area, where they came into contact with Chad Lee Anderson of Hayden, Colo. formerly of Orangeville. It is presumed that Anderson and Poulsen knew each other while both lived in Orangeville and Poulsen had inquired as to his whereabouts during this last visit to Orangeville.
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office said that a bicyclist reported seeing a truck in the river about 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 The truck was driven into the river near the Redlands Diversion Dam on the Gunnison River. Blood was discovered both inside and outside of the vehicle. A search of the area resulted in the discovery of a body covered with brush. The body was later identified to be that of Chad Lee Anderson. He had been shot multiple times. The shooting is under investigation and it is not clear at this time who the shooter was or what the motive for the shooting might have been. The pickup truck was that belonging to Gary Gardiner of Castle Dale.
According to area police, Anderson had a 1991 Mercury Topaz and they had talked to him a week prior while he camped in the area. The Mesa County police immediately put out an all points bulletin on the victim's car. The car was spotted about 11 p.m. in Goodland, Kan. on Sept. 15. A brief chase followed by Kansas police officers but they lost the vehicle. It was spotted again and the chase resumed. The suspect vehicle fired numerous shots at the officer's vehicles.
The vehicle was finally brought to a stop with a deflation device which disabled the suspect vehicle and it went out of control into a ditch. Schenck reportedly tried to exit the vehicle while the car was still moving and was quickly apprehended by the officers. Ricketts was in the back of the vehicle and was ordered out of the car. She had a gunshot wound in the foot which was estimated to be a couple of days old.
Poulsen was the driver of the vehicle and was suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound which is still under investigation. He was taken to an area hospital, where he later died. Poulsen was out on parole in the state of Utah. Kansas officials recovered a 22 caliber hand gun and an unidentified rifle. Two compound bows were recovered from a Grand Junction pawn shop. A shotgun was recovered in a field by Orangeville which the suspects had left there because they didn't have ammunition for the gun. Other stolen items from the home in Orangeville have not been recovered at this time. The two suspects, Ricketts and Schenck are being held in the Thomas County Jail in Colby, Kan. where they will face charges of suspicion of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and possession of stolen property. In Mesa County, Colo. the pair face charges including being accessories to murder and motor vehicle theft. In Emery County the pair face alleged burglary of a premises and motor vehicle theft. The Emery County Sheriff's Office also reported that Ricketts has a child custody hearing pending in Emery County. Both Schenck and Poulsen were known to have prior records within the judicial system. Ricketts has a juvenile history.