Stolen mowers, tractor recovered
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
Thieves that struck Fish and Still Equipment and Houston County Equipment, both located on Loop 304 in Crockett, kept law enforcement officers across three counties busy Thursday night, July 11, and Friday morning, July 12. With assistance from observant citizens and interagency cooperation, two John Deere Zero Turn mowers stolen Thursday night, July 11, from Fish and Still Equipment were recovered and two Trinity men were arrested, Crockett Police Department Chief David Cross reported. Cross issued a press release Friday afternoon, July 12, stating a witness observed the theft from the Fish and Still Equipment location on East Loop 304 in Crockett. "A witness spotted the suspect's vehicle exiting near the business with the two mowers loaded on a trailer and felt that it was suspicious at this time of night," Cross stated. "The witness contacted the police and followed the vehicle outbound on Hwy. 19 South and lost sight of the vehicle." Cross continued, "Officers from Crockett Police Department headed south on Hwy. 19 in an attempt to catch up with the vehicle. "Another witness spotted the suspect vehicle turning southwest onto FM 230 off Hwy 19 South. "The suspects must have felt that they were being followed and they dumped the two mowers on the side of the road approximately two miles southwest of Lovelady on FM 230." Cross stated Houston County Sheriff's Office Deputy Lorenzo Simpson later located the two Zero Turn Mowers two miles southwest of Lovelady on FM 230 where the suspect allegedly attempted to dump and hide them near the main road. "Trinity County authorities were contacted to set up and watch for the suspect vehicle. A local State Trooper spotted the vehicle on FM 230 near the Walker/ Trinity County line and made a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle," Cross reported. According to Cross, Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace arrived at about the same time. "The two male suspects were questioned and evidence was gathered from their vehicle and trailer and they were arrested for Felony Theft," Cross stated Investigators also located a .45 caliber handgun inside of the vehicle, Cross reported. Cross, CPD Investigator Alfredo Fajardo and CPD Detective Jarrod Vickers located and collected evidence from the two mowers. "This evidence was compared to evidence from the crime scene and from the location that the mowers were recovered. The mowers were then turned over to an employee with Fish and Still," Cross stated. Cody D. Wade, 23, W/M of Trinity, and Michael E. Miracle, 49, W/M of Trinity, were booked into the Houston County Jail on charges of Third Degree Felony Theft for allegedly stealing the two Zero Turn Lawn Mowers from the Crockett John Deere dealership. "Wade was also charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon, a Class A Misdemeanor." Cross stated. "The suspect vehicle, a 2004 Ford F-250, and the trailer were impounded and seizure paperwork was filed since they were used in the commission of a felony." Also on Thursday night, Houston County Equipment reported a 16-foot utility trailer and a Kubota tractor were stolen. "The suspect who stole this mower wrecked the truck he was driving in San Jacinto County and fled on foot at 3 a.m. this morning (Friday, July 12)," Cross reported. The suspect in this case evaded San Jacinto County law enforcement officials and is described as a tall white male, according to Cross. The Kubota tractor and trailer were recovered and will be returned to Houston County Equipment after they are processed for evidence. "These investigations continue as evidence is being processed and will be sent to the crime lab for comparison analysis," Cross stated.