Vehicle pursuit ends in rural Saguache County

Photos of wrecked Ford F150 courtesy of Center Police Department.

SAGUACHE COUNTY — Two men on parole were arrested after crashing a stolen vehicle while trying to evade law enforcement on Sunday, June 5.

At about 6 a.m. on Sunday, CPD was notified of a vehicle pursuit heading toward the town, Center Police Chief Dale Meek reported.

The incident began when a man who lives in South Fork observed his Jeep being stolen at his house. He began chasing the thieves in his other vehicle.

The suspects, later identified as Zachary Wymer, 25, and Jimmy Gollihugh Jr., 44, were in separate vehicles — Wymer was driving the stolen Jeep and Gollihugh was driving the Ford F150 truck. The victim chased the vehicles through Del Norte and down Highway 112 until they turned north on County Road 43.

The suspects continued through the La Garita area until the Jeep was wrecked by the suspect a few miles north of town.

The driver of the Jeep got into the white truck and crossed over U.S. 285 into the Russell Lakes State Wildlife area.

Meek explained he and another CPD officer continued to pursue the truck through the dirt roads around County Road 50 moving south toward County Road G. As the truck reached the intersection of C.R. 50 and C.R. G stop sticks, a tire deflation device, were deployed as the suspect vehicle ran the stop sign at the intersection.

Meek said they continued to follow the vehicle through the dirt farm roads as a front tire on the truck deflated and started to fragment due to the stop stick deployment.

The truck continued on C.R. G toward State Highway 17. The suspect vehicle turned north on C.R. 59 going back onto the Russell Lakes State Wildlife Preserve land.

The suspect vehicle attempted to cross fields but became stuck in the sand due to the damage to the front tire. The two suspects fled on foot across the preserve land into the sandy dunes.

Colorado State Patrol assisted with the chase by sending up a helicopter to help search for the suspects after they abandoned the vehicle.

Meek and a Saguache County Sheriff’s deputy, who responded from his residence, chased the suspects on foot about 1 mile through the wildlife area and arrested the suspects.

Meek said that they recovered a firearm, ammunition, multiple burglary tools, stolen license plate and illegal drugs.

“Rio Grande County Sheriff’s Office will be handling charges for the vehicle theft and a possible attempted assault with a deadly weapon on the vehicle owner,” Chief Meek said.

Charges from CPD for Gollihugh Jr. were suspicion of reckless driving, vehicular eluding, possession of weapons by previous offenders, possession of burglary tools, and theft of motor vehicle parts. Gollihugh was also out on parole and will have a potential parole violation.

Wymer charges included suspicion of conspiracy, vehicular eluding — related to the conspiracy, possession of weapons by previous offenders, possession of burglary tools, possession of a controlled substance — fentanyl, and theft of motor vehicle parts. Wymer was also out on parole and will also have a potential parole violation.

“The apprehension of both suspects is an example of the cooperation between various police agencies in the San Luis Valley,” Chief Meek said.

The agencies involved in this incident were the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office, Rio Grande County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol and Center Police Department.

Two responding units were not “on duty” when called to respond to this incident but were able to successfully affect an arrest, Meek said. According to Chief Meek, the suspects had burglary tools and were armed with firearms, and as such were considered a significant threat to the community.

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