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Woman arrested after fleeing officers in stolen vehicle

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A woman was arrested early Sunday after allegedly fleeing local law enforcement in a stolen van.

Brianna Olivas, 23, of Dexter, was arrested after midnight Sunday after she was spotted by a police officer driving a 2002 Windstar van that hours earlier had been reported stolen.

When later questioned by police, Olivas denied stealing the van. She added that she fled police because she doesn’t trust anyone at the moment because people had been trying all week long to kill her, according to documents filed Monday in Chaves County Magistrate Court.

Olivas was charged with one count each of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle; reckless driving; resisting, evading or obstructing an officer; and driving without a license. She was subsequently released on her own recognizance Monday following a first appearance in Magistrate Court.

Hours before her arrest, the owner of the van had reported the vehicle stolen at 8:54 p.m. Saturday by a homeless woman whom he had driven to a laundromat in the 200 block of South Union Avenue to do her laundry.

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The owner of the van told police he did not know the woman’s name, but said she drove off in the van while he was inside starting her laundry for her.

A Roswell police officer at 12:11 a.m. Sunday spotted a van matching the description of the stolen vehicle traveling westbound on East Bland Street. According to court documents, the officer, who was heading eastbound on East Bland Street at the time, then turned around and got behind the van.

The officer activated the emergency equipment and lights on his unit, however, the van allegedly did not stop but continued westbound. The van then turned onto Main Street and headed north.

Chaves County deputies then joined the pursuit. The vehicle was heading north into city limits from U.S. Highway 285 and had hit multiple spike strips before coming to a stop in the area of Virginia Avenue and Southeast Main Street.

Olivas informed police that a friend, a man whom she had just met and had given her a ride to a laundromat, let her use the van so she could get money to go make the final payment on her engagement ring. She added that she had not returned the van because she was not finished using it.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.