DEMING, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico State Police have arrested a suspect in Luna County who’s accused of stealing a van in Arizona. NMSP reports that the Arizona Department of Safety issued a “Be On the Lookout” alert for a suspect who stole a 2021 white Ford Transit Cargo Van in Arizona at knifepoint.
Authorities stated the stolen van had an iPad inside the vehicle that was being tracked through GPS and indicated it was in New Mexico. The Deming Police Department and Luna County Sheriff’s Office found the stolen vehicle traveling east of Deming on I-10 near milepost 81.
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Police state that officers tried to initiate a traffic stop, however, the vehicle fled and a pursuit began. During the pursuit, authorities say the van left the roadway of I-10, and the driver drove through a fence into a dirt field, continuing to evade police, driving off-road before merging back onto I-10 near milepost 96.
Police report an NMSP officer located the van on I-0 at this time and took over the pursuit. In a press release, NMSP states the driver of the van started to travel east on I-10 at more than 95 miles per hour.
The vehicle then reportedly exited I-10 at exit 102 and then merged east onto State Road 549.
Authorities state the driver again drove off the roadway, through another fence before merging back onto I-10 near milepost 116. The NMSP officer used a Pursuit Intervention Technique, bringing the van to a stop.
The driver, identified as 27-year-old Hines James III of Tampa, Florida was taken into custody. James III has since been booked into the Luna County Detention Center and has been charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer, resisting, evading, or obstructing a law enforcement officer, criminal damage to property, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, speeding, not having a driver’s license, and evidence of registration.