LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Detectives with the Lufkin Police Department have connected one of the men who was arrested Wednesday after a vehicle pursuit involving a stolen pickup to the Jan. 2 burglary of the town’s Target store.
According to a press release, LPD detectives filed an engaging in organized criminal activity warrant on Tyler Jamar Lopez, 19, of Lufkin, at the Angelina County Jail, where he was still being held for his role in the pickup theft.
Lopez has been charged with two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity, possession of a controlled substance between 3 and 28 grams, and evading arrest. Collectively, his bond amount has been set at $120,000.
On Wednesday, Lufkin PD officers tried to do a traffic stop on a stolen Chevrolet 2500 in the Walmart parking lot at about 11:25 a.m., a previous press release stated. The driver, who was later identified as Davonsea Dawayne Thomas, 17, of Lufkin, refused to stop.
“He continued behind the store and through the parking lot of neighboring businesses before taking the Brentwood Drive extension to Loop 287,” the press release stated.
Thomas then allegedly continued north on Loop 287 and took the Chestnut Street exit toward Timberland Drive. He tried to turn onto Kornegy Street, but he took the turn too fast, and crashed into a street sign, the press release stated.
At that point, the pickup rolled back into the lead Lufkin PD officer’s patrol unit.
Thomas, Lopez, and Armani Montel Moore, 18, of Lufkin, fled on foot. Moments later, LPD officers chased down the three men and took them into custody, the press release stated.
Officers who arrested Moore saw him throw a backpack toward a fence as he fled,” the press release stated. “Inside the backpack, officers found a pistol, digital scales, and a metal grinder.”
Lopez allegedly had Xanax in his possession at the time of his arrest. According to the police report, he tried to leave it on the floorboard of the arresting officer’s patrol unit.
“After being questioned about it, he admitted that it was his and that he tried to dump it in the officer’s vehicle,” the press release stated.
The Lufkin PD officers who arrested Thomas saw him throw a gun before they took him into custody, the press release stated. The gun was also recovered.
“The truck was reported stolen from the Fuller Springs area overnight January 21,” the press release stated. “The owner’s father was on the scene. It will be returned to him after it has been processed for evidence.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety investigated the minor crash involving the stolen vehicle and the LPD officer’s Tahoe. Minor damage was reported, the press release stated.
According to the press release that was issued Thursday afternoon. The Target burglary has been an ongoing investigation since Jan. 2.
“Around 2 a.m. that day, store surveillance footage captured two suspects use a window punch to shatter one of the store’s glass doors,” the press release stated. “In less than 3 minutes the two suspects ran out of the store carrying more than $4,000 worth of Apple-brand electronics. A third suspect acted as the getaway driver in a light-colored sedan.”
Four days later, the Brentwood Drive Sprint store was burglarized in a similar fashion. On Dec. 30, the Brentwood Drive AT&T store was broken into, the press release stated.
“After Target surveillance footage was released on social media, Crime Stoppers tips identified Lopez as the taller person in the video,” the press release stated. “The tips also indicated that Lopez is a member of a local gang called ‘JBW’ or ‘JaccBoyWorld.’
The press release said additional tips implicated a man named David Fleming, 18, of Lufkin in the burglaries of the Sprint and AT&T stores.
Flemming was arrested on Jan. 16 in connection with the Sprint Store burglary, the press release stated. He’s still being held in the Angelina County Jail on a felony engaging in organized criminal activity charge. No bond amount has been set at this time.
“When detectives questioned Flemming about the Target burglary, he said he was not involved,” the press release stated. “He was in jail in Nacogdoches County at the time.”
Flemming allegedly named Lopez as the main suspect in the Target burglary. He told Lufkin PD detectives that he sold Lopez a window punch for $15 a few days before the burglary occurred.
“Flemming also said that he, Lopez, and several others burglarized a Nacogdoches AT&T Store on January 8,” the press release stated.
According to the press release, Flemming is also associated with the JacBoyWorld gang.
“All of these burglaries remain under investigation,” the press release stated. “Additional arrests and charges are likely.”
Moore and Thomas are also still being held in the Angelina County Jail.
Thomas was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, evading arrest with a vehicle, aggravated robbery, and unlawfully carrying a weapon. Collectively, his bond amount has been set at $185,000.
Moore’s charges include engaging in organized criminal activity, aggravated robbery, evading arrest, and unlawfully carrying a weapon. All total, his bond amount is $170,000.