Stephen Rodriguez, 38, of Hobbs, who has a history of allegedly taking things that don’t belong to him, was arrested for the eighth time after he allegedly stole a car, lead police on a high speed chase, and held a woman hostage.
Rodriguez was arrested Feb. 16 and charged with burglary of a dwelling, receiving or transferring stolen vehicles, second offense, both third-degree felonies; three counts of false imprisonment, all fourth-degree felonies; resisting evading or obstructing an officer and possession, both misdemeanors
Around 1:56 p.m., Hobbs Police officers responded to the report of a stolen a 1985 red and white GMC on the 2600 block of North Selman Street, and were notified the vehicle’s 41-year-old owner, Harris Lee, 41, of Hobbs, was following his stolen GMC.
Lee told dispatchers the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and “blowing through stop lights,” and dispatchers told Lee to stop following the car. He allegedly refused.
“LCCA stated (Lee) refused to stop following and was making threats towards the driver of the stolen vehicle. (Lee) was advised multiple times to quit following and refused,” the HPD report stated. “EAGLE IC Officer M. Guerrero advised (Lee) was driving recklessly behind the stolen vehicle. LCCA advised (Lee) if he doesn’t stop following he will be arrested for reckless driving. Lieutenant A. Mattocks attempted to make a stop on (Lee) in the area of Fowler and Permian and he failed to stop for officers.”
Lee was arrested on Feb. 16 and charged with resisting evading or obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.
When the vehicle reached Fowler and Wolfcamp streets, HPD officers saw both Lee and the stolen car turn down an alley.
“The stolen vehicle and (Lee’s) white Altima drove in reverse and returned to Fowler, almost sticking multiple vehicles traveling north and south,” the criminal complaint stated. “The stolen vehicle then traveled at a high rate of speed to Fowler and made an eastbound turn on Clearfork.”
HPD officers were told to stop pursuing the vehicle due to the risk to the public.
Officers continued following the vehicles as they traveled onto Houston Street, Sunset Drive, Dal Paso, and then Bender, all while failing to stop at stop lights.
Lee eventually stopped for police at Marland and Jefferson Streets.
When officers reached Wayland street, Rodriguez was seen running from the car into a residence.
HPD officers called and told the homeowner to exit the home, but the response was, “I (expletive) can’t, a guy ran into my house.”
When a HPD sergeant asked if the homeowner was being held against their will, the line disconnected.
HPD officers kicked the door in and noted the homeowner, who appeared to be frantic, wasvpointing toward a closed bathroom door.
“He’s in the bathroom,” the homeowner told police.
Rodriguez exited the restroom and was told to lie face down.
The homeowner and child were in a back bedroom with her son when the front door shutting was heard, according to the report. The homeowner then saw Rodriguez, who allegedly said to hide him because the cops were looking for him.
The homeowner said Rodriguez was pacing back and forth in the hall and demanded to use the cell phone.
According to the criminal complaint, Rodriguez called a woman and then took out a knife and attempted to pry open a vent to hide.
The homeowner told police instead of Rodriguez leaving he instead hid in the bathroom.
The homeowner’s child corroborated the homeowner’s account of events.
Rodriguez was transported to HPD where he was unable to be interviewed due to being under the influence of drugs, the report stated.
In 2021, Rodriguez was arrested and charged with receiving or transferring stolen motor vehicles, a fourth-degree felony. The case was dismissed by the prosecutor.
Also in 2021, Rodriguez was charged with robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon, both third-degree felonies; robbery, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, extreme cruelty to animals, and possession of a controlled substance, all fourth-degree felonies. All charges were dismissed by the prosecutor.
In 2021, Rodriguez was arrested five more times and charged with attempted to commit a felony, to wit: first-degree murder, a second-degree felony; aggravated battery possession of a firearm by a felon, both third-degree felonies; possession of a controlled substance, a fourth-degree felony; aggravated DWI, negligent use of a deadly weapon, both misdemeanors.
All charges were dismissed by the prosecutor with the exception of the DWI and negligent use of a deadly weapon, both misdemeanors.
In 2022, Rodriguez was arrested and charged with receiving or transferring stolen vehicles, a fourth-degree felony. The charge was dismissed by the prosecutor.
Rodriguez has pending charges for armed robbery and improper statutory cite, both second-degree felonies; and aggravated battery, a third-degree felony. He was released on Jan. 26 on a 10 percent cash bond of $15,000.
He is scheduled for a preliminary examination in the robbery case on March 7 before Lovington Magistrate Keith Clayton.
Rodriguez was released on Feb. 17 on a 10 percent cash bond of $10,000 for the stolen vehicle charge. He is scheduled for a pretrial detention hearing on Feb. 20 before Fifth Judicial District Court Judge William Shoobridge.