Joyride in Las Cruces leads to shots fired and armed robbery

Crime

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Five underage suspects were arrested Thursday night after a joyride turned serious, according to the Las Cruces Police Department.

Las Cruces police, with assistance from a Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office deputy, on Thursday night arrested two 14-year-old boys, a 15-year-old boy, a 14-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl.

About 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, the Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority received the first of several calls of a dark color pickup driving erratically and with its lights off. Police also learned of a road rage incident with shots fired involving the same pickup, near Mesa Drive and Highway 70.

About 9 p.m., a Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Deputy pulled over a blue Nissan Frontier matching the description of the reported pickup. The pickup was being driven by a 14-year-old boy with two juvenile girls inside the cab. Two other boys were riding in the bed of the pickup.

The 14-year-old boy led officers on a brief foot pursuit through an undeveloped area before he was captured.

Investigators learned the five juveniles were joyriding when they were involved in a road rage incident. One of the boys in the back of the pickup is alleged to have fired at least one round from a handgun during the incident.

According to investigators, the juveniles committed an armed robbery at about 8:30 p.m. of a 19-year-old woman who was jogging near Porter Drive and Village Drive. The victim told investigators one of the boys pointed a handgun at her and forced her to hand over the jacket and shoes she was wearing. Authorities said one of the 12-year-old girls was wearing the victim’s jacket when the juveniles were stopped by the DACSO deputy. The victim’s shoes were found in the pickup.

The juveniles were each charged with a second-degree felony count of armed robbery and a third-degree felony count of conspiracy.

The 14-year-old boy suspected of discharging the gun also faces a fourth-degree felony count of shooting at or from a motor vehicle.

Names of the juveniles will not be released because of their ages.

All five juveniles were authorized to be held in custody.

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