Cibola Co. Sheriff: Serial car thief wrecks into historic building

New Mexico

GRANTS, N.M. (KRQE) – An accused serial car thief is in trouble again. This is the third time in less than a year that she’s being charged with stealing a car. This time, she caused some serious damage.

Shards of glass, broken bricks and a collapsed roof are all that’s left of the old Mission Gallery on Santa Fe Avenue in Grants. The Cibola County Sheriff’s Office says Elexus Sandoval crashed a stolen truck and trailer, loaded with cement mix, into the historic building Wednesday afternoon.

She led New Mexico State Police on a high-speed chase down I-40, before driving into Grants and barreling into the vacant art gallery. “She either lost control or attempted to evade or maneuver, subsequently the vehicle went up, struck the curb, blew out the tires and then hit the building,” said Undersheriff Michael Munk with the Cibola County Sheriff’s Office.

She didn’t give up — deputies say she got out of the truck and tried to take off on foot.

This isn’t the first time Elexus has been in trouble for stealing a car, in fact, this is the third time in less than a year. Both of those cases are on hold pending further investigation. “It’s just such a shame that something ridiculous had to be what caused this building to crumble,” said Carie Talley of Grants.

Now, she’s facing a long list of new charges. Deputies believe she also had heroin in her possession. The District Attorney’s office will push to keep her behind bars until trial, to make sure she doesn’t cause any more trouble.

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