Home News Local News Alleged car thief leads police on lengthy pursuit

Alleged car thief leads police on lengthy pursuit


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Linda Gallegos

A Colorado woman was arrested Saturday afternoon after she allegedly stole a car in Roswell and led several law enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase to the Albuquerque area.

Linda Gallegos, 42, of Ft. Lupton, Colorado, has been charged with aggravated fleeing and driving with a suspended license for charges related to incidents observed by the New Mexico Police Department.

In relation to the incidents reported by the Roswell Police Department, Gallegos has been charged in a separate case with larceny under $250; unlawful taking of a motor vehicle; and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

She appeared Monday afternoon before Chaves County Magistrate Judge E.J. Fouratt on those counts, two of which are felonies, but did not enter any pleas. Bond was set for $1,000 for the charges arising from the Roswell incidents, while a $25,000 bond was set in the case involving the charges of fleeing from police.

The incident began about 11 a.m. Saturday after Roswell Police Department officers responded to a suspected car theft in progress at North Main Street near Pine Lodge Road.

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The RPD began following the silver car, with the New Mexico State Police joining the pursuit. The state police took over once the car began traveling north of the city on U.S. 285 heading toward Vaughn.

According to court documents, over the next hour or so, state police recorded speeds as high as 114 miles an hour and saw Gallegos travel into opposing lanes, as well as onto the shoulders of both sides of the road, as she fled.

Ray Wilson, public information officer for New Mexico State Police, said that tire deflation devices were used several times to try to force Gallegos to stop, but that those attempts were unsuccessful. As Gallegos neared Vaughn and Encino, Torrance County Sheriff’s deputies also began pursuing her, again deploying tire deflation devices that failed to stop the vehicle.

Wilson said Gallegos drove past Cline’s Corners and onto I-40, where Albuquerque Police Department began to pursue, as well. Gallegos then crashed the vehicle while trying to cross a median on I-40 near mile post 203. Court documents indicated that she rolled the vehicle.

After being apprehended at about 12:45 p.m., Gallegos was deemed by paramedics to be well enough to transport back to Roswell by state police, Wilson said. She was taken to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center for another examination, where she was cleared to be transported to jail, according to the state police.

At about 8:30 p.m., she was booked into the Chaves County Detention Center, Wilson said.

Gallegos is being represented by the Roswell office of the state Public Defender’s Office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Preliminary hearings have been set for both cases before Magistrate Judge K.C. Rogers on July 21.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.