Authorities in Colorado are seeking the public’s help in identifying this man in a baggy white and blue #33 jersey who fled into Utah. Police allege that he and a second man robbed a store in Fruita, Colorado, injuring a pregnant woman and her co-worker. [Photo courtesy of the Fruita Police Department]

One man with a lengthy criminal record is in custody – while his suspected partner is still at large – following a robbery in Fruita, Colorado, that left a pregnant store employee and her co-worker injured.

Ryan Kenneth Oliver, 27, of Grand Junction, Colorado, was arrested in far eastern Grand County near the Utah-Colorado state line, hours after he and a still-unidentified man allegedly fled the scene of the robbery and then drove west on Interstate 70.

According to a Fruita Police Department report on the incident, the two men attempted to leave the Fruita Co-Op at about 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 14, without paying for items hidden in their clothing. When store employees approached them, a struggle ensued, and two employees – including the pregnant woman – were injured.

The suspects then left the business in a pickup truck that was full of lumber, and law enforcement began to pursue the suspects in the Loma, Colorado, area. The Daily Sentinel newspaper of Grand Junction reported that the vehicle was nearly involved in a head-on collision with oncoming traffic, while the lumber that was in the back of the truck began to fall across the road.

The vehicular chase ended only when the truck began to experience mechanical problems and then came to a complete stop near Westwater, Utah, about 85 road miles northeast of Moab. Both suspects then fled the scene on foot; shotgun shells were later found in their vehicle, according to Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Ty Roberts.

A K-9 unit subsequently located Oliver in the desert near Westwater late in the evening on Aug. 14, but the second man wearing a baggy, white and blue #33 jersey and shorts was not found.

The Mesa County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office ran point on the incident. But the Grand County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah Highway Patrol also assisted, along with the Colorado State Patrol and the Fruita Police Department, according to Roberts.

Roberts said that the Utah Department of Transportation later set up signs on the interstate advising drivers not to pick up hitchhikers in the area. But a truck driver reportedly stopped for the second man on Tuesday, Aug. 15, and gave him a ride back to the Fruita Co-Op.

According to the Fruita Police Department, the driver grew suspicious and subsequently called law enforcement. The suspect, whom Oliver has not identified, was wearing the same clothes and was last seen walking in front of the Fruita True Value eastbound on the sidewalk. He is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs somewhere between 150 to 170 pounds. He has earrings in both ears and tattoos on both arms.

Oliver recently served time in Colorado state prison, following convictions in four separate criminal cases on charges that included aggravated robbery, felony menacing and theft, the Daily Sentinel reported. According to the Colorado Department of Corrections, he became eligible for parole in May 2017.

Under the law, both suspects are presumed to be innocent unless or until a court formally convicts them of any charges.

Second man apprehended after fleeing into Grand County

If you can identify the individual wearing the #33 jersey and shorts, contact Fruita Police Detective Dicamillo at 970-858-3008, or