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The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office confirmed this week that a woman who allegedly stole a pickup truck from outside a laundromat on Labor Day Monday, September 5, had previously been arrested on an assault charge in Cotulla.
In a brief statement on the case, La Salle Lt. Homar Olivarez said he and other investigators are unsure why the woman took the Ford F-350 work truck and drove it as far as a downtown residence while being pursued by a deputy.
Olivarez noted that the vehicle is typical of the kind often used in the smuggling of undocumented immigrants but did not indicate whether there is evidence that the suspect intended to use the vehicle in a criminal enterprise.
The suspect in the case, 35-year-old Zabrina Cervantes Flores, was spotted driving the stolen truck moments after the theft had been reported at around 7:45 p.m. Monday, according to a case report, and Deputy Mario Torres gave chase from Main to Giraud streets, where Flores was stopped and taken into custody.
“The officer was taking the report of the theft from the vehicle owner outside Garcia’s Laundromat when he saw the truck passing,” the lieutenant said. “He pursued the stolen truck through the downtown area, with siren and lights, to carry out a traffic stop, but Flores kept going until she reached Giraud, where we believe she was to meet her boyfriend.”
Deputy Torres was conducting the arrest when his action was interrupted by the occupant of the home on Giraud Street, a man identified as Carlos Enrique Perales, 41.
“Flores had surrendered to the officer after the short pursuit, but then she began resisting,” Olivarez said. “Perales came out of the house and tried to intervene in the officer’s duties.”
Flores was taken into custody on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and resisting arrest; Perales was jailed on a charge of interfering with law enforcement duties.
Flores had previously been released on bond Tuesday, August 23, after spending nearly eight days behind bars on the Class A misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury, for which a warrant had been issued.