Las Cruces – The woman who stole a marked police unit Thursday morning and crashed it into another vehicle a few blocks away has been arrested and is charged with auto theft.
Megan Gutierrez, 29, is charged with one count of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. Additional charges against Gutierrez are pending completion of the investigation.
The 24-year-old woman who was driving the Dodge Raider that was struck by the police unit, driven by Gutierrez, was transported to an area hospital. Her injuries do not appear to be serious.
Shortly after 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 7, a Las Cruces Police officer was investigating a crash on Missouri Avenue near Gladys Drive when Gutierrez jumped into the officer's marked unit and sped away. Gutierrez drove south on Gladys and west on Wyoming. As she attempted to turn south onto Locust, Gutierrez nearly hit a bicyclist and then struck the northbound Dodge Raider nearly head-on.
After that, Gutierrez attempted to flee from the crash on foot but was tackled to the ground by the alert citizen. She was subsequently taken into police custody.
A second LCPD officer investigating the Missouri crash was able to alert fellow officers to Gutierrez's direction of travel. That officer followed the stolen unit from a distance and was the first-arriving officer at the Locust crash scene.
Gutierrez was not involved in the initial crash on Missouri and, by all accounts, appears to have been passing by the scene on foot when she stole the police unit.
Las Cruces Police are continuing to investigate the incident and additional charges are expected to be filed later today.