Suspected car thief facing multiple charges in connection with mid-October crime spree in Wheat Ridge

carjacking suspect causes crashes in wheat ridge oct 17 2022.jpg
Posted at 3:13 PM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-24 14:17:14-05

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. – A suspected car thief who caused multiple crashes in Wheat Ridge last month is facing several traffic-related offenses for the mid-October incident, according to a spokesperson with the Wheat Ridge Police Department.

Jose Merino-Ramos, 22, is facing several charges, including aggravated motor vehicle theft, vehicular assault, and theft (between $20,000 and $100,000), as well as “numerous traffic related charges.”

Police say Merino-Ramos stole an arborist’s work truck that had an attached trailer hauling very expensive equipment outside the arborist’s Wheat Ridge home before committing a string of crimes along Sheridan Blvd. on Oct. 17.

The suspect struck several cars while fleeing the scene, eventually hitting a Toyota Highlander; the driver of that vehicle got out and Merino-Ramos reportedly hit her with the truck, briefly pinning her against another vehicle, according to police.

Although the woman sustained a severe bodily injury, she managed to roll out of the way of the truck and into the trailer it was pulling.

Merino-Ramos then allegedly continued driving a few blocks before abandoning the truck with the victim still in the trailer, got into the passenger side of white Escalade, and took off from the scene.

Detectives were able to identify the suspect through DNA evidence and recovered the stolen truck. The investigation into the identity of his accomplice – a woman driver in the Escalade – is still ongoing, police said.

Denver7's CB Cotton contributed to this report.