Video: Alleged van thief rams police cars during getaway

GRANTS, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico State Police said an alleged car thief did some damage to several law enforcement vehicles while making a getaway, all under 20 minutes. They also added this was in addition to nearly running down one of the officers with a stolen van.

It was back on January 3, 2016 when detectives said then 20-year old Shawnessy Martinez stole a van from a bar in Prewitt, New Mexico. That’s located about 25 miles west of Grants along Interstate 40.

Once officers located the vehicle, dashcam video shows it exiting off I-40 into Grants where the chase continued. This was despite efforts from officers to use pit maneuvers to stop Martinez.

Martinez ended up at a dead end street where he was surrounded by State Police officers and Cibola County Sheriff’s Deputies. The video shows the stolen van ramming cars and charging toward one of the deputies. This was after one of the State Police officers fired a shot at the suspect. Martinez was not hit and the deputy was not seriously injured.

Martinez was able to get away, but law enforcement eventually caught up with him about a block from the ramming scene.

According to online court records, Martinez is still behind bars at the Cibola County Detention Center on a $25,000 cash only bond. He’s still facing at least three counts of aggravated battery against a police officer, charges of aggravated fleeing and stealing a vehicle. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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