Live Oak County Sheriff Larry Busby said Wednesday, Oct. 24, started with a call at 10:15 a.m. that reported a vehicle theft from Firebird Oil Field Service Company off Interstate 37, about a mile north of U.S. Highway 59.
The vehicle was a 2010 black Ford pickup.
Busby said that afternoon, Jim Wells County reported auto thefts, including the Ford stolen in Live Oak County.
A helicopter had spotted three vehicles suspected of being stolen from Houston and Live Oak County.
The black Ford pickup was found abandoned near the Live Oak County line on County Road 308.
At 6:06 p.m. while a man was driving his tractor – near Farm-to-Market Road 3162 not far from CR 308 – the suspect jumped into his 2012 Silverado pickup and took off.
The pickup had a cell phone and a rifle in it. And the vehicle was outfitted with OnStar, which was used to electronically shut the pickup down.
OnStar was activated at 6:57 p.m.
Busby said the pickup was recovered in good shape on I-37 a little north of where the pickup was stolen at Firebird Oil Field Services. But the cell phone and weapons had been taken.
Busby said a little up the road, the suspect stole another pickup, a 2011 Nissan Titan, reported missing at 7:25 p.m.
“He probably took state Highway 72 up toward Kenedy,” Busby said.
The stolen cell phone was used later and traced to Eagle Lake in Colorado County.
Busby said Eagle Lake was notified of the pursuit and given a description of the stolen vehicle.
Busby said law enforcement chased the suspect into Wharton County where the suspect abandoned the pickup.
“He almost made it across Wharton County, but he abandoned the vehicle and broke into an unoccupied house,” Busby said.
“The next day, somebody discovered he was there,” Busby said.
Busby said he got a call around 9 or 10 a.m. the morning of Oct. 25 that someone had reported a house being burglarized in Wharton County.
Two Wharton County sheriff’s deputies went to the house near the Wharton County line and found the man exiting the house.
They ordered the man to surrender and submit, but Busby said the suspect kept putting his hand in his pocket.
Busby said the deputies knew the suspect had a weapon, so they shot and killed the suspect.
The man was identified as being 16 years old and deported from the United States three times.
“He was here illegally,” Busby said.
“(The cartels) use minors because they figure they won’t be prosecuted,” Busby added.