LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Lufkin Department arrested three people Wednesday in connection to allegations that they conspired together to steal about $21,000 in merchandise from Home Depot over the course of multiple visits to the store.
Two of the suspects fled the scene on foot, and a third suspect was cruising the area in an effort to pick up the others when she was stopped and arrested.
Jasmine Jeana Hinds, 27, of Livingston, Lance Haywood Minneweather, 26, of Houston, and Marquis Dejuan White, 19, of Corrigan, are all still being held in the Angelina County Jail. Each of them was charged with third-degree engaging in organized criminal activity, Minneweather and White were also charged with Class A misdemeanor evading arrest. White also had a possession of drug paraphernalia charge.
No bail amount has been set for Hinds' charge. The bail amount has been set at $2,000 for White's two misdemeanor charges, and a bail amount of $1,500 has been set for Minneweather's misdemeanor charge.
Jessica Pebsworth, a spokeswoman for the Lufkin Police Department, said that additional charges are pending against the three suspects. The case is still under investigation, she said.
The Lufkin Police Department learned from Home Depot's management that several suspects have made six trips in to the store over the past two months, and each time, they loaded up shopping carts with tools and tool combo sets that ranged in value from $200 to $400 and walked out of the store without paying for the merchandise, Pebsworth stated.
On Wednesday, the store's management notified police at about 1:07 p.m. Wednesday that the suspects had returned for a seventh attempt and were in the process of stealing more merchandise, Pebsworth stated. She added that LPD officers set up outside the Home Depot to wait for the suspects, but they had lookout in the parking lot, and she notified them of the police officers' presence.
As soon as White and Minneweather came out of the store, they ditched their shopping carts and ran away on foot. Pebsworth said both men crossed the Tulane Drive Bridge, and split up. White allegedly ran toward Lufkin Mall, and Minneweather ran toward the shopping center with Target and Office Depot.
White then ran back across the Tulane Bridge, Pebsworth said.
"Following a pursuit that included White crossing the Tulane bridge and back, he was arrested by officers Devin Trotti and Randy Stallard near Pie Five," the press release stated. "A citizen, who believes White mistook him for law enforcement due to his style of dress, assisted in the arrest after shouting at White to 'get on the ground.' White complied, and the officers took him into custody."
Lufkin PD officers found Minneweather hiding behind some bushes at a home on Card Street a short time later, Pebsworth said.
Hinds was stopped "casing the area" in a black Dodge Charger like she was wanting to pick up the other two suspects, Pebsworth said. She said Hinds was taken into custody at 1:40 p.m.