Twelve arrested in Nacogdoches County theft ring

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (News Release) - The Nacogdoches County Constable Office Precinct 4 conducted a series of felony arrests Tuesday morning. Constable Jason Bridges said that his office has been conducting an investigation into numerous thefts and burglaries that have occurred in the Woden, Etoile, Shady Grove and Melrose area.

The investigation began last month when the Constable's office received an anonymous tip about possible stolen property. This tip helped solve one burglary of a residence, four burglaries of a building, and ten theft cases. "We have been working this case for about a month now and it has been non-stop," said Bridges. "We have interviewed well over 35 people and have traveled outside of the county several times to interview possible witness or suspects as well as to recover some of the stolen property."

The Constable's Office has recovered one generator, two rifles, one horse saddle, two chain saws, one flat screen television, one all-terrain vehicle, flat bottom boat and other stolen property that came from a drilling rig site.

During the investigation, two search warrants were executed in Etoile that helped lead to the recovery of stolen property. Marijuana was also found at both locations.

A total of 15 arrest warrants have been issued for 12 defendants in this case. Most of the suspects have been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. "This was basically one big theft ring that we can link to at least 15 offenses that have been committed in our precinct over the course of the last four months," said Bridges.

The Constable's Office has been able to clear many cooper thefts that have been reported over the last few months, along with the burglary offenses.

Arrested Tuesday were Blake Kenner, 21, of Shady Grove; Jimmy Dempsey, 19, of Woden; Lucretia Nowman, 43, of Etoile; Derek Stewart, 19, of Woden; Dylan Torbert, 20, of Woden; and James Payne, 24, of Woden. All were arrested for engaging in organized criminal activity, a felony offense.

Also arrested were Oscar Nowman, 54, and Joseph Nowman, 56, both of Etoile. The two were arrested for theft of a firearm, a state jail felony.

Warrants have also been issued for the arrest of Joseph Nowman, Junior of Etoile for engaging in organized criminal activity. Tommy Earl Harris, 48, of Nacogdoches is also wanted for theft. Both subjects have not been apprehended at this time. Justin Pinkard, 23, of Jacksonville has also been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and is yet to be apprehended.

Constable Bridges said that his office also brought two theft charges against one juvenile. There are two additional suspects still under investigation that may be charged at a later date.