Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jay Sanders and Detective Sergeant Lenwood “Bo” Fox held a press conference Monday morning to address the ongoing investigation and search for suspects involved in a large organized crime ring responsible for the theft of eleven (11) utility, all-terrain vehicles from Nor-Tex Tractor in Sulphur Springs. The units were stolen during two thefts occurring on April 23rd and November 23rd of 2015.
Leads in early January 2016 lead to seven (7) arrests and the recovery of twelve (12) Polaris Razors and two (2) Polaris Rangers. Approximately $234,000 in stolen property has been recovered including six (6) units from the November theft at Nor-Tex Tractors totaling $74,000 and eight (8) units stolen from other jurisdictions in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas totaling $160,000.
The seven (7) suspects who have been arrested include Brian E. Wheeler of Balch Springs; David Paul Rockwell of Terrell; Ricardo Saldivar, 34, of Combine; James Lindy Minter, 37, Joshua Christopher Terry, 34, and Laronda Kaye Reed, 29, all of Kemp; and Darrell Wayne Waites from Deville, Louisiana. All have been charged locally with organized criminal activity.
Investigators are currently searching for three remaining fugitives in connection with the Nor-Tex Tractor thefts: Christopher Lee Chambers of Maybank, Texas; Dustin Kyle Garcia of Scurry, Texas; and Christopher Brandon Garcia of Seagoville, Texas.
Sergeant Fox mentioned that some of the suspects involved in the theft at Nor-Tex have been linked to recent burglaries in Lindale, Tyler and numerous other jurisdictions in Texas as well as other states as far east as Tennessee.
Sergeant Fox said that Sulphur Springs Police Department has received assistance from numerous agencies during the investigation including the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office and Tony Hurley with the Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TCRA) Special Rangers as well as police departments and sheriff’s offices across Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
Chief Sanders praised the effort and dedication the investigation team has put forth during the past month. “I just want to tell you how excited and how proud I am of our detectives who have broken up what I would call a ring of burglars and thieves,” Sanders said. “I am lucky.”