Homeless woman accused of stealing truck, hitting tree
A 30-year-old homeless woman who police believe stole a truck from the downtown Wells Fargo and crashed it into a tree less than two miles away begged a Mesa County judge to release her at a Friday hearing so she could try to get her life together.
Misha Elizabeth Gutierrez was arrested near where the stolen Ford F-350 was found crashed near the Orchard Mesa Cemetery on Wednesday. Appearing before Judge Gretchen Larson on Friday afternoon, she said she had nothing to do with the theft, and that despite a slew of cases she’s facing in Mesa County courts, she is working to get her life on track.
“I’m really not that bad,” Gutierrez said.
A man who left his truck running while hurrying to use the ATM across the alley on Wednesday afternoon “heard the motor rev and his vehicle leave rapidly,” an affidavit for Gutierrez’s arrest said.
Grand Junction police officers learned that a female driver had been seen “swerving all over the roadway and had run several lights,” the report said.
The truck was reported crashed into a tree at the cemetery a short time later, and the driver “was reported to be running through the cemetery,” wearing a gray hoodie and carrying a child’s backpack, the report said.
Police saw Gutierrez on U.S. Highway 50 across from Super Car Wash, wearing clothes that matched the car thief’s description, the affidavit said.
“Gutierrez appeared to be out of breath and immediately told me, ‘He’s getting away!’ pointing to a vehicle that was traveling north on Highway 50 that had yielded to my emergency lights,” an officer wrote in an affidavit.
After officers arrested Gutierrez, she was “nonsensical and making random statements,” the report said.
The truck “sustained major damage to the front end and destroyed a section of fence before impacting the tree,” the report said.
Gutierrez — whose driver’s license was suspended — has several pending cases, Larson said in court Friday. Gutierrez’s parents told authorities they thought she was high on methamphetamine just before the truck theft.
Larson told Gutierrez that concern about her safety and the community’s safety was prompting the decision to issue her a $5,000 cash-only bond.
Gutierrez is due to return to court Dec. 2 before District Judge Thomas Deister.