Authorities arrest alleged Crockett squad car thief

Blayne Smith mug shot courtesy of Trinity County Jail.
Blayne Smith mug shot courtesy of Trinity County Jail.

CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - email

CROCKETT, Texas (KTRE) - Authorities have arrested a man accused of driving away in a Crockett Police car in the midst of a foot chase with an officer.

According to a press release issued by Crockett Police, Blayne Lamont Smith robbed a 67-year-old woman Tuesday afternoon in downtown Crockett. Witnesses say the man knocked the woman down before running away with her purse.

Crockett Police Chief Jimmy Fisher said Cpl. Vince Baker was patrolling in the area when the call went out.  He stopped his patrol unit when he spotted the suspect behind the First Baptist Church of Crockett.

"The officer exited his patrol car to apprehend the subject... The suspect got away from the officer, doubled back and got in his patrol car and drove off," said Fisher.

Chief Fisher wouldn't explain the department's policy on leaving police vehicles.

"The officer did his duty. Under the circumstances I feel that any officer in the department would've done the same thing under similar circumstances," said Fisher.

It took about an hour after the police car was taken for it to be found around the Crockett Industrial Park.

"Had some damages to the side door and to the hood," said Fisher.

With information from the suspect's girlfriend,tracked down Blayne smith around midnight at his residence.  Smith has several felonies on his wrap sheet.  He was sentenced to life in prison for robbery out of Ellis County, but was paroled just two months before this incident.

Now, add to that, he faces charges for theft, running from police and stealing the police car.

Chief Fisher said their investigation is ongoing, but that they have a confession from Smith.

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