Unlawful Flight and Vehicle Theft

Published by The Bee News

March 30, 2021

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Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Deputies arrested Juan Lizarraga Cortez, 29 of Phoenix, for two counts of Criminal Damage, Theft of Means of Transportation, and Unlawful Flight from Law Enforcement, all felonies. On Saturday (3/27) at approximately 12 PM, deputies received a call of a vehicle stolen from a business in the 18000 block of Highway 93 in Wikieup. The victim reported that she had gone inside the business to pay
for gas when she observed a male subject enter her vehicle and leave headed northbound towards Kingman.

Deputies headed towards the area, searching for the vehicle while responding. Deputies located the stolen vehicle around the DW Ranch Rd. exit and began pursuing the vehicle. Deputies activated their lights and sirens, however the driver did not stop. Deputies, along with Department of Public Safety (DPS) Troopers, continued pursuing the vehicle until the Andy Devine Ave. exit where stop-sticks were deployed. The stop-sticks were effective in striking the passenger side tires of the vehicle, however the vehicle continued.

A Pit Maneuver was conducted on the vehicle, causing the vehicle to spin out and come to a stop in the westbound lanes. Deputies withdrew their weapons and began making verbal commands for the driver to exit the vehicle, which the driver refused. After several minutes of ignored commands, the suspect, identified as Cortez, was removed from the vehicle and taken into custody. A records check revealed Cortez is currently on probation and has active arrest warrants out of Phoenix. Two DPS vehicles were damaged during the pursuit, with damages estimated at approximately $1,000 per vehicle. Juan Lizarraga Cortez was transported to the Mohave County Adult Detention Facility without further incident.

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