Woman, 73, accused of driving getaway car in bungled burglary

Barbara West

A 73-year-old woman is the suspected getaway driver in a bungled burglary at a Grand Junction business last month, according to an arrest affidavit.

Barbara Mae West, 517 28 1/4 Road, posted a $7,500 bond Thursday at the Mesa County Jail after being advised in court of possible charges including vehicular eluding, second-degree burglary, second-degree criminal trespass and theft of between $1,000 and $20,000.

She was arrested by the Grand Junction Police Department on a warrant Wednesday.

Police were called around 9:30 p.m. Jan. 23 to the 400 block of 28 1/2 Road about a burglary in progress. Witnesses reported two men getting into a sport utility vehicle that was parked off to the side, next to a business.

The SUV started driving away as an officer approached the scene and activated the overhead lights on his patrol car.

“The driver pulled away at a fast rate without any head or tail lamp lights on, and the rear gate flew up as they pulled onto 28 1/2 Road as they did not latch it,” the affidavit said.

From 28 1/2 Road, the alleged pursuit continued before turning onto Chipeta Avenue. There, the road led to a dead end.

“Prior to stopping, two subjects jumped out of the vehicle just as it was coming to a stop and fled to an unknown location,” the affidavit said. “The second subject who jumped out got his foot caught underneath the right rear tire of the SUV for a short time, but he was able to free himself, leaving behind one of his tennis shoes as he fled.”

West wouldn’t identify the men who fled, the affidavit said.

“West just sat there and looked forward, not acknowledging Officer Hovland was talking to her,” the affidavit said.

She was released that same night to her daughter, pending investigation, the affidavit said.

The only thing West told officers that night is she borrowed the SUV from a woman in Clifton, the affidavit said.

Officers recovered from the vehicle more than $2,000 worth of electrical conduit, which they believe was stolen from the property of Track II Marketing, 454 28 1/2 Road, the affidavit said. Officers found two liquor bottles, one empty and another nearly full, and an empty soda bottle inside the SUV.

The woman who owns the SUV told police West explained she needed to borrow the vehicle to go to church, the affidavit said.


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