Sheriff: Woman led deputy on high-speed chase in stolen SUV

Sheriff: Woman led deputy on high-speed chase in stolen SUV
Celeste Elizabeth Virga, 30, of Mountain Home is accused of stealing a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery. (Source: Baxter Co. Sheriff's Office)

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (KAIT) - An Arkansas woman faces multiple charges after investigators say she led deputies on a high-speed chase in a stolen SUV.

Celeste Elizabeth Virga, 30, of Mountain Home is accused of stealing a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery.

The owner told dispatchers he was following his vehicle on U.S. Highway 62 Business back into Mountain Home.

Corporal Craig Gates was eastbound when he met Virga traveling at a “high rate of speed,” the sheriff stated in a Thursday news release.

Gates turned around and tried to stop Virga but she refused to stop and “was passing other vehicles in the center turning lane.”

She ran multiple stop signs, and drove through a resident’s yard, before reaching a dead end on Mary Street.

But, the sheriff said, she did not give up.

Instead, he said Virga jumped out of the SUV and began running through a field.

Gates chased her a short distance before she finally surrendered.

The deputy took her to the Baxter County Detention Center and booked her on suspicion of the following charges:

  • Theft of property
  • Fleeing
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage
  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to maintain control
  • No liability insurance

Virga is being held in lieu of a $12,500 bond awaiting a circuit court appearance on Aug. 22.

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