Las Cruces Teen Arrested for Stealing Car

Las Cruces Teen Arrested for Stealing Car

POSTED: Monday, December 12, 2011 - 6:07pm

UPDATED: Monday, December 12, 2011 - 8:47pm

LAS CRUCES- Police arrested a teenager suspected of stealing a car this morning and attempted to flee from officers who spotted him driving the vehicle.

The 16-year-old is charged with one count each of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence. Martinez, who was already on probation for a previous offense, is being held without bond at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.

Las Cruces Police learned that shortly before 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 12, the owner of a white Dodge Charger left the vehicle running and unattended in her driveway.

About half an hour after the vehicle was reported stolen an LCPD officer spotted the vehicle in downtown Las Cruces. The officer began to follow the vehicle but its driver, later identified as the minor, fled at a high rate of speed, ran several stop signs and nearly struck other motorists as he drove toward the Mesquite Historic District.

LCPD officers were alerted of the general direction in which the vehicle was headed and a perimeter was established. One of the responding officers located the Charger abandoned near Las Cruces Avenue. The minor was located a few blocks away.

The keys to the stolen Dodge Charger, and a set of keys from another vehicle reported stolen on the morning of Nov. 30, were found in minor's possession. Detectives are continuing their investigation and additional charges are possible.

In the past couple of weeks LCPD has received at least three reports of vehicles stolen while their owners left them warming-up. LCPD discourages the practice of leaving vehicles running simply to warm the engine or cabin temperature. The vast majority of vehicles on the road today do not require a long engine warm-up, especially in our relatively mild climate.

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