|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - February 2009
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Attempted strong-arm robbery leads police to stolen truck
Polk County Enterprise - February 2009
ONALASKA — Police are continuing a searched for a Hispanic male who attempted to grab a purse from a woman in a grocery store parking lot and fl ed in a stolen pickup truck, Chief Ron Gilbert said Tuesday. Managers at Brookshire Bros. No. 71 in Onalaska called police and reported that a female customer had been assaulted in the store’s parking lot Tuesday morning. Store Director Greg Smith played video from the store’s security system for Onalaska offi cers who determined that the incident was an attempted strong-arm robbery. The victim told Smith that her attacker was a Hispanic male, but she was unable to give a facial description because he wore a mask. Smith described the driver of a vehicle used to fl ee the scene as a white male. The store video showed the suspects in a white Chevrolet extended cab truck exiting the parking lot to the west onto Old Trinity Road. About 20 minutes later, the Onalaska Fire Department was called to a fi re of unknown origin on Hodge Bottom Road. Gilbert, Sgt. Lee Parrish and Offi cer Troy Binford responded with OVFD and found a white Chevrolet extended cab truck fully engulfed in fl ames. After OVFD put the fi re out, it was confi rmed to be the same truck involved in the grocery store incident. A records check on the license plate number showed the 1994 pickup had been stolen from Huntsville the night before. OPD summoned tracking dogs and horse units from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Polk County Sheriff’s Offi ce Sgt. Perry Alexander and Det. Christi Allen also joined the investigation as well as a unit from the Trinity County Sheriff’s Offi ce. Several other PCSO units established a search perimeter with assistance from units from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Polunsky Unit Warden Tim Simmons and two trailers carrying mounted search teams combed the area for several hours. After talking with William Hodges, a resident who lives in the area, investigators believe that a second vehicle had probably been left there to be used by the suspects. Hodges said when he left for work earlier in the morning in his log truck he saw the truck and a beige or cream colored car at the same location. The search was called off and assisting officers were relieved Gilbert said. Anyone with information about the identity or the whereabouts of the individuals involved in this case are urged to call Polk County Crime Stoppers at 936-327-7867 or the Onalaska Police Department at 936-646-5676. Crime Stoppers pays rewards for information that leads to the arrest or grand jury indictment of the person or persons involved. All calls are confidential.