According to a Rio Rancho Police Department criminal complaint document, Joseph Ortega, 43, of Albuquerque was arrested for conspiracy to commit shoplifting over $500, criminal damage to property over $1,000 and aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer on May 29.
At around 6 pm, RRPD officers were dispatched to Target for shoplifting. The staff who called said a man that had shoplifted the night before was back and that he parked his white car near the side exit.
Officers located the parked vehicle and saw Ortega inside. Ortega disobeyed officer commands and put the vehicle in drive. He then hit the police car on purpose and caused damage to both front bumpers.
He then fled the scene at a high rate of speed on southbound NM 528.
Another call was made to dispatch about a white vehicle crashing into a pole near Southern and NM 528, reporting that the driver got out and ran away on foot.
Officers located Ortega behind the AutoZone on Southern Blvd. with a K9 unit, where he was arrested.
Officers also found Ortega had an active warrant for his arrest.
Ortega is accused of shopliftin approximately $1,175 worth of items from Target.
If convicted, Ortega could serve eight-plus years for conspiracy to shoplift, 18 months for criminal damage to property and up to three years for aggravated fleeing law enforcement officer.