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Tire thief loses traction

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A routine patrol in the Heritage Meadows Subdivision led to the arrest of 23-year-old Fredrick Santee Jr. from Washington for theft of tires and rims.

Navasota Police Chief Shawn Myatt stated Navasota Police Officers were patrolling the Heritage Meadows subdivision Wednesday, May 19, at approximately 2 a.m. and observed a 2019 Chevy truck missing its tires and rims on the 800 block of Mockingbird Street.

Officers continued to patrol and on the 800 block of Heritage Drive, officers observed a male subject holding a jack near a 2020 Chevy truck. The officer chased the suspect on foot, but the suspect fled into a flooded field north of the subdivision. Lug nuts were removed from the Chevy and landscape blocks had been placed under the truck’s axle.

Near the scene officers discovered a white Chevy Equinox SUV that was still running. The Equinox was confirmed stolen from Houston. A Texas Department of Criminal Justice K-9 unit was summoned to search the field, but the suspect wasn’t found.

Navasota Police Investigators received a phone call later from Brenham Police Investigators, stating a blue Cadillac slid off the roadway near Texas State Highway 105 and Farm-to-Market Road 1155 that was driven by Santee. Navasota Police Officers, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies and Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol spoke with Santee. Inside the Cadillac officers located four 20” tires and rims.

Santee was transported to Navasota Police Department and later arrested for theft, a third-degree felony (possession of stolen property) and unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a class A misdemeanor. The tires/rims in the Cadillac were identified as the ones stolen from the Chevy truck on Mockingbird Street.

Navasota Investigators searched the Equinox and recovered a large amount of lug nut keys, jack, and other tools used for the theft of tires/rims.

Santee was released on $15,000 bond.