Robbery suspects captured following manhunt
Polk County Enterprise, May 2007
LIVINGSTON — A one-car accident near the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation launched a six-hour manhunt that ended with the apprehension of two Woodville residents wanted in connection with an aggravated robbery in Tomball, according to the Polk County Sheriffs Office.
Sheriff's deputies and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers were called to the accident site at about 9:20 a.m. Saturday, May 12.
Officers found that the vehicle had been stolen from Tyler County and the license plates displayed on the wrecked vehicle belonged to another car.
Several items were found inside the car that officers believed to be stolen property.
A witness told officers that the driver had fled from the scene on foot, reports show.
Tribal security officers told investigators of another suspicious male sitting in a Dodge Charger in the parking area of the reservation's gym.
After Trooper David Morris identified the driver as Claude Dale Wilson Jr., 21, of Woodville, the driver fled on foot.
A check of motor vehicle records showed it had been stolen in Harris County on May 7 and the license plates displayed had been reported stolen to Livingston police.
Additional items believed to be stolen were found inside the vehicle.
A search of the area around the gym was conducted by Texas Parks and Wildlife officers, Tribal Security, Indian Reservation Volunteer Fire Department and residents of the area and tracking dogs from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
A short time later, officers apprehended a 16-year-old male juvenile matching a description given by witnesses.
At about 3:30 p.m. Wilson, the adult driver of the wrecked stolen vehicle, was discovered by Trooper Morris and taken to the Polk County Jail.
He remains in custody for evading arrest and possession of marijuana. Additional charges for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle were filed following the arrest.
A detention hearing was held before Judge David Johnson and the juvenile suspect is being held at a Montgomery County facility on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
During further investigation, Lt. Craig Finegan of the Polk County Sheriff's Office found both suspects may have been involved in an aggravated robbery in a convenience store in Tomball at about 2:45 a.m. May 12
An elderly couple was beaten and robbed by three males and their car stolen.
Items reportedly taken during the robbery were found in both stolen vehicles recovered by officials in Polk County.
In a separate incident in Harris County, two people were beaten and robbed by three males with a similar physical description. The Dodge Charger recovered by Trooper Morris was taken during the robbery.
One of the suspects in that robbery was arrested on the scene by Harris County deputies. The other two suspects fled the scene.
Officers have discovered that the two suspects drove to Polk County and stopped at Wal-Mart stores in Cleveland and Livingston. They used credit cards taken in the Tomball robbery to purchase over $2,000 worth of items, which was all recovered by Polk County officers.
Investigators from the Polk County and Harris County sheriffs' departments and the Woodville Police Department are continuing to probe the string of incidents.
Additional criminal charges are pending against both the adult and juvenile suspects in Polk and Harris counties.