Home News Local News Suspect in chase, car theft charged in Chaves County

Suspect in chase, car theft charged in Chaves County

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A Los Lunas man accused of leading New Mexico State Police on a high-speed chase in a vehicle he allegedly stole now faces criminal charges in Chaves County.

Mario Caballero (Submitted Photo)

Electronic court records state a warrant was issued in Chaves County Magistrate Court April 14 for the arrest of 22-year-old Mario Jose Caballero on one count each of robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful taking of stolen vehicles and motor vehicles.

Chaves County Undersheriff Charles Yslas on Thursday confirmed that Caballero, who faces charges in Guadalupe County of aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer and possession of stolen vehicles or motor vehicles, was served with the warrant. He is being held without bond pending arraignment.

The theft of the vehicle happened on the afternoon of April 6, after a woman encountered a man — later identified as Caballero — at a Roswell restaurant and paid for his meal when he did not have money to do so. Caballero then asked her to give him a ride north of town in her green 2017 Toyota Corolla, which she did.

When the woman dropped him off at a truck stop north of Roswell, court documents state, Caballero allegedly reached to grab the keys from the ignition, pulled out a large knife and ordered the woman to exit the vehicle.

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Putting the vehicle in reverse, Caballero allegedly knocked the woman to the ground and dragged her on the asphalt for 12 to 18 feet before driving off.

After an alert was issued for the Corolla, a State Police officer saw the vehicle near mile post 186 traveling north on U.S. 285 toward Vaughn. The officer tried to conduct a traffic stop on the Corolla but the driver refused to pull over.

Continuing north, according to a press release from State Police, the Corolla reached speeds of up to 120 miles per hour while traveling in the northbound lane and passing other vehicles.

The pursuit came to an end near mile post 193 in Vaughn after Caballero drove over tire-deflation devices deployed by State Police, slowing the Corolla and allowing State Police to conduct a high-risk stop on it. According to the press release, Caballero then exited the vehicle peacefully and without incident.

Caballero was taken to a hospital before being transported to the Guadalupe Adult Detention Center.

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