Two arrested after Las Cruces police discover stolen vehicle

Las Cruces News

Two people are in custody after Las Cruces police discovered a stolen vehicle early Friday morning.

According to a news release, an officer spotted a red Mitsubishi sedan, which was previously reported stolen, at about 2 a.m. at the Big Chile Inn located at 2160 W. Picacho. 

Shortly thereafter, the officer set up surveillance of the vehicle and saw a woman, Melanie Joy Perez, 24, leaving a motel room and placing backpacks into the car.

According to the release, police then saw a man approach the passenger-side door as Perez prepared to drive away.

When the officer approached, the man, Johnny Burnside, 28, allegedly attempted to run away. Police later placed him under arrest following a brief chase.

Investigators say Perez initially indicated that the car was her father’s, but later admitted that she didn’t know whose car it is. 

Police later learned that it was reported stolen on Thursday from a local health care business.

Perez was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where she’s initially being held without bond.

Burnside was arrested on a pair of warrants from the adult probation office.

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