Theft suspect tried to hide in murky water after high-speed chase ended in bayou, police say

Charly Edsitty Image
Wednesday, December 27, 2023
Theft suspect tried to hide in water after chase ended in bayou: HPD
The chase started when a DPS helicopter spotted the man stealing cable from a church, police said. At one point, officers feared the suspect had drowned because they couldn't find him in the water.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man tried to hide in the water after a chase ended in a bayou in northeast Houston overnight, according to police.

Houston police said officers were chasing the suspect -- a 34-year-old man -- because he was allegedly stealing cable from a nearby church.

The chase came to an end in the middle of a bayou on the I-610 North Loop at Homestead Road.

HPD said shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter spotted the suspect stealing cable from the church and alerted police units on the ground.

The suspect drove off in a white truck when police tried to stop him, and that's when the chase started, HPD said.

At one point, officers backed off because the suspect was driving very fast and it became too dangerous, according to police.

Officers eventually caught up with the man after he crashed into the bayou. Police said the chase lasted about 10 to 15 minutes.

Investigators worried that the man had drowned because they lost sight of him after he got out of the truck. Officers broke the windows out of the truck while looking for him.

Eventually, the helicopter flying overhead saw a small heat source in the water, and sure enough, it was the suspect, police said.

Despite the cold temperatures, several officers went into the bayou to make the arrest. HPD said the man tried to hide under the murky water and swim away, but the helicopter kept eyes on him.

"The truck's not coming back stolen right now, but it probably will be once we finish our investigation -- had a lot of wire in the truck," Lt. R. Willkens said.

HPD did not immediately release the suspect's name or what charges he will face.

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