In each incident in Bee County, the people have been caught and turned over to U.S. Border Patrol agents.
Police Chief Joe Treviño said his officers have had to chase down Mexican nationals in the country illegally two or three times this month.
But none of the incidents experienced by the Beeville Police Department have topped a chase involving three law enforcement agencies that took place Wednesday afternoon.
Lt. Ronnie Jones said the chase started just before 2 p.m. Wednesday when Deputy Adrian Peña stopped a 2005 Ford F-250 pickup on County road 512 near the Bee County line south of FM 796.
Peña got out of his patrol car after making a routine traffic stop, but by the time he got to the driver’s side window, the truck raced from the scene.
The deputy jumped back into his patrol car and started pursuing the pickup toward U.S. Highway 59.
At one time, Peña radioed that the fleeing vehicle was hitting speeds at about 100 mph.
The chase then went onto FM 351 and west to Viggo Road to Gill Ranch Road.
By that time, eight BPD officers had either joined the chase or had driven to vital intersections around the city where they might be able to intercept the fleeing pickup.
But before the truck reached La Para Road at the end of Gill Ranch Road, the driver pulled off the highway, crashed through a barbed wire fence, sped across a field and then through a brush line.
“Fortunately, the Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter was in the area,” Jones said. The pilot and co-pilot had heard the radio chatter, and they joined the pursuit.
Jones said deputies were unable to follow the fleeing men in their patrol cars because only a couple of the wires of the fence were broken.
Within seconds, the DPS helicopter crew had located the abandoned vehicle and had found two men running from it.
They radioed deputies and told them that neither man appeared to be armed.
Jones said deputies finally cornered the two men, searched the vehicle and took the two into custody.
Nothing illegal, other than the two occupants, was found in the vehicle, so the men were held to be turned over to the Border Patrol.
Peña said the entire chase lasted only 11 minutes.
Jones said the reason the two runners were captured as quickly as they were and the reason officers were so successful was because of the way the sheriff’s deputies, the BPD officers and the DPS helicopter crew coordinated the pursuit.
“It as a beautiful thing. I’m very proud of the way we worked together,” Jones said.
Treviño said his officers experienced similar incidents in recent days, without the chase.
In each incident, anywhere from five to six Mexican nationals bailed out of vehicles and ran, only to be apprehended later.
The people always ran from officers after a routine traffic stop.
“I guess it’s just that time of year,” Assistant Police Chief Richard Cantu said when asked if he knew why so many illegals had been caught during July.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.