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By April M. Washington
Rocky Mountain News

AURORA, Colo. - Aurora police said Thursday that for the second time in a week they have arrested an illegal immigrant after a crash on the city's streets.
Officers arrested Hipolito Vasquez Rojas, 19, after he and a 16-year-old male accomplice allegedly stole a car, firing at a man who tried to stop them; crashed into a police car; plowed into a tree; and led officers on a foot chase Wednesday night.
Rojas, who police say is a gang member, was deported in April after his release from the Adams County Jail after serving time for auto theft. It is not known how he turned up five months later in connection with a robbery and shooting.
"This is a reality for our police officers every day. We are getting beat up as to why we're not doing more? The question posed to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) should be, 'Why isn't more being done to shut down the porous border?' " said Aurora police spokesman Bob Friel.
Court and police records show that Rojas has an extensive criminal history, including 30 felony and misdemeanor arrests, mostly in Aurora, for eluding police, auto theft and illegally possessing a weapon and other charges.
Rojas also was wanted by Adams County for failure to appear in court on an auto theft charge and on a national extradition warrant. He is being held for investigation of first-degree attempted homicide, criminal intent for first-degree assault and auto theft, police said.
Police did not identify the juvenile arrested with him. He could face similar charges as an adult, Friel said.
ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said Rojas was kicked out of the country April 18. Rusnok said it's a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison to re-enter the country after being deported. ICE has placed another hold on Rojas.
The chase and arrest come on the heels of the Sept. 4 fatal hit-and-run accident involving an illegal immigrant who remained free despite nearly 20 arrests in five years.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said it's fortunate that Wednesday's shooting didn't lead to a similar tragedy.
"Obviously, we are extremely fortunate that the round of gunfire missed," Oates said.

Wire Service
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