Police: Charges follow grocery store purse-snatching, school zone car chase

Justin Garcia
Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES - Police accused a man of snatching a woman's purse then leading police on a high-speed pursuit through a school zone earlier this month. 

Rocky Chavez, 31, was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and one count of receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle. 

According to an affidavit signed by Las Cruces Police Detective Adam Medina, Chavez and a woman drove to the Albertsons on North Main Street on Nov. 2. As they perused the parking lot, Medina said that Chavez hopped out of the car and snatched a woman's purse as she put her groceries into her car. 

Police later located Chavez's vehicle at a Family Dollar on the 700 block of North Valley Drive. Police said that a woman, who was also seen at the purse-snatching robbery, was driving the vehicle. When she noticed police, Medina said she fled. 

She sped out of the parking lot, and through the school zone that surrounds Mayfield High School, the affidavit said. The woman then lost control of the vehicle before it came to a stop. 

Medina said she attempted to flee on foot, but officers caught up to her and detained her. Police found Chavez hiding on the passenger seat floorboards after the crash. He was hospitalized before being booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center earlier this week. 

Additionally, prosecutors have filed a motion to keep Chavez in jail while he's awaiting trial. That hearing is scheduled for Nov. 22. The woman involved in the incident was also charged for her alleged involvement. 

Justin Garcia is a public safety reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. He can be reached at or on Twitter @Just516garc.

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