Heavy equipment stolen from city of Houston recovered in Como; 1 arrested
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Oct. 20, 2006 - An investigation into the theft of $19,000 worth of heavy machinery and equipment from the city of Houston led auto task force officials to Como, where a man was arrested. In a separate incident, a gas drive off from a local convenience store Thursday ultimately landed three people in jail on theft charges.

Texas Department of Public Safety's Motor Vehicle Theft Service and Northeast Texas Auto Task Force officials acting in an undercover capacity, followed up on information they had received that the Kubota farm tractor and Case skidster loader stolen from the city of Houston's Public Works Department were thought to be located in Como, where a man was trying to sell them. Undercover agents went to Katy Street in Como around 4 p.m. Thursday and  found Samuel Richard Jones , 43, of Huffman at the location. Jones was arrested for theft when officers acted to buy the stolen tractor and loader, DPS motor vehicle theft service officials said Friday.

Jones, a former employee of the city of Houston, was arraigned and released from Hopkins County jail Friday morning, after posting a $10,000 property bond. Authorities have recovered the equpment.

The second incident also occurred around 4 p.m. Thursday, after suspects in a Cadillac drove off from a College Street gas station without paying for the fuel they had pumped into the car. The store clerk alerted authorities of the gas drive-off.

A state trooper in the area spotted the car and stopped it. He then had the trio inside, two men and a woman, return to the store. The two men, ages 20 and 28, and woman, 25, gave officers conflicting stories regarding the incident, but all admitted to stealing the gas. Consequently, they were arrested.

The two men were also found to be wanted, the 20-year-old on two charges of failure to maintain insurance warrants, as well as charges of expired vehicle registration, unrestrained driver, displaying a suspended license and failure to appear; and the 28-year-old on an outstanding speeding warrant.

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