Las Cruces police arrested a man suspected of stealing two vehicles and attempting to flee from law enforcement officers on multiple occasions.
Edward Rangel, 45, of the 400 block of Linda Vista, is charged with one count each of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle, and aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer. All three charges are fourth-degree felonies.
Rangel also had a felony warrant for failing to appear in court on a previous case.
Investigators learned Rangel stole a silver 2020 Honda Civic from a CVS parking lot on July 6, 2021. Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office deputies spotted Rangel driving the Honda on July 13, but the suspect refused to stop for the deputies.
On the morning of Wednesday, July 14, a Las Cruces police officer saw Rangel driving a stolen white Chevrolet Malibu with a Thule roof rack near Sambrano Avenue. The Chevy was stolen the previous night from the Viva Dodge used car dealership. The officer tried to initiate a traffic stop, but Rangel fled at a high rate of speed and crossed into oncoming lanes of traffic. Out of concerns for safety of others, the officer refrained from engaging in a pursuit.
A short while later, officers found the Chevy Malibu abandoned near Memorial Medical Center. Las Cruces police officers located Rangel trying to hide in a nearby parking lot. Rangel was taken into custody and arrested without further incident.
When officers arrested Rangel, he was found in possession of keys to the Chevrolet and the Honda. During the investigation, Rangel acknowledged his involvement in stealing both the Honda Civic and the Chevy Malibu. Rangel also indicated he abandoned the Honda Civic at the Home 2 Suites hotel on Telshor Boulevard. Both vehicles were processed for evidence and returned to their rightful owners.
Las Cruces police are continuing their investigation and additional charges against Rangel are pending.
Rangel was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is initially being held without bond.