GEORGE WEST – A rash of stolen vehicles continued last week, according to Live Oak County Sheriff Larry Busby.
A black GMC pickup was reported stolen in San Antonio. At 10:59 p.m., Oct. 26. Department of Public Safety Trooper Wesley Gray began a pursuit of the vehicle about two miles south of George West on U.S. Highway 59.
Busby said speeds up to 100 mph were reported.
A call was made to DPS Trooper Raul Garcia to put out spikes.
The vehicle struck the spikes and left the road into a field just south of County Road 133.
The suspect ran into the brush. Troopers along with sheriff’s deputies Joseph Shelton and Joe Guerra followed.
“They located the vehicle in the brush with the air bags deployed. I think he hit a tree,” Busby said.
The vehicle also had front-end damage, and the suspect escaped.
The pursuit had lasted until 1:50 a.m., Oct. 27.
Shelton tried to tie up the fence where it was thought the suspect drove through.
“But it apparently was where the suspect left in an adjoining pasture,” Busby said.
And the rancher had called in and reported his white Tahoe stolen.
“Actually it was the 2010 Tahoe that exited through the fence,” Busby said.
Earlier, at 11:18 p.m., Sgt. Jorge Medina, John Castaneda and Jason Lee of the George West Police Department, were pursuing a white Tahoe in town that was dragging barbed wire behind it, and the mirrors were broken off the vehicle, as well as having front-end damage.
The stolen vehicle headed out Farm-to-Market Road 889 toward McMullen County.
A DPS helicopter had been called to assist.
“The vehicle ended up in two or three pastures and went through a number of fences,” Busby said. “But he got away.”
Later, at 8 a.m., Oct. 31, District Judge Joel Johnson saw a white Tahoe parked on his property off County Road 426 adjacent to the McMullen County line.
“It was on a fence line at the northwest corner of his property,” Busby said.
“It had gone through the fence there. Both mirrors were missing, and it had a lot of front-end damage,” Busby said.
The suspect had left the vehicle in the shade of some trees apparently aware of the chopper.
“He had bailed there, not sure what day or what time,” Busby said,
An unrelated vehicle theft occurred at Mike’s Market at 8:51 a.m., Oct. 31. A gray 1989 Ford Ranger pickup was taken, but video surveillance captured the theft.
Busby suspected it was an undocumented immigrant.
The vehicle was recovered the same day at Schulenburg with two front tire blowouts and damage to the front end.
“It was abandoned,” Busby said.
Busby noted that five bailouts occurred in the last three weeks.
He said he thinks the full moon is one of the reasons for the increase in vehicle theft.
“They can see a lot better at night with the full moon,” he said.
“I want to emphasize to not leave your keys in your vehicle. Lock it and don’t leave valuables in the vehicle,” Busby said.
“It only takes 30 seconds for them to take a pickup.”
Busby said the suspects generally are described as being young.
“These are not usually ones coming over to work. They don’t use good judgment. They’re dangerous,” he said.