Crime

Barbara West, 73, accused of being getaway driver for burglary, leading police chase

Age is only a number -- one that needn't stop any of us from being active.

Take Barbara West, who allegedly didn't let her 73 years on earth prevent her from driving the getaway car in a burglary -- and attempting to outrun the cops.

The story comes to us courtesy of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, which reports that police received a call about a burglary in progress at about 9:30 p.m. on January 23. Upon their arrival at the scene, they saw two men climb into a sports utility vehicle -- and they were apparently in a hurry, because as soon as the officers switched on the bubble lights on their patrol card, the SUV took off.

The cops followed, watching as the rear hatch of the SUV popped open in front of them. Apparently, the occupants hadn't fastened it in their haste to hit the road.

Before long, though, they ran out of asphalt, after the SUV turned onto a dead-end street. According to the arrest affidavit, the two men bailed out of the vehicle even before it had come to a complete stop, and while one of them briefly got his foot stuck under a tire, losing a tennis shoe in the process, they managed to get away.

Not so the woman behind the wheel: West. She wasn't exactly talkative, reportedly refusing to identify the two suspects and or make any eye contact with the arresting officer. However, she did reveal that she'd borrowed the car -- which was found loaded with $2,000 of electrical conduit, not to mention a couple of liquor bottles -- from a friend.

And what had West told this generous person she planned to do with the SUV? Drive it to church, the document says.

Instead, she got a ride to jail, where she was arrested on suspicion of vehicular eluding, second-degree burglary, second-degree criminal trespass and theft of between $1,000 and $20,000.

She's currently free on $7,500 bond -- which means, if she wants to, she'll be able to go to church. Look below to see a larger version of her mug shot.

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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Brooks Kellogg, 73, accused of trying to hire hit man to kill opponent in real estate lawsuit."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts