Suspected car burglars wreck out, caught by police

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Men suspected of following bank customers and burglarizing their cars collided with another vehicle, causing it to roll over as they fled police on Friday afternoon.

Woodway Police say the two men are now in custody and have been identified as being from Houston. They were caught after a short foot chase in a field off Texas Central Parkway about 2:45 p.m.

Police say the chain of events began shortly after noon, when officers responded to a call about a car being broken into in the parking lot of South Bosque Elementary School.

Police were able to get a good description of the vehicle from video.

The victim mentioned to the officer having just come back from a visit to the bank, leading one of the officers to think this was why this particular car was targeted.

The officer then started checking parking lots of banks in the area, thinking the suspects might be looking for other victims to hit.

Officers knew it was something thieves did to watch people leaving banks, then following them to rob them or break into their homes or cars.

A few minutes later, the officer pulled into the parking lot of the Extraco Bank on Hewitt Drive and immediately spotted a vehicle which looked like the one involved at the school.

There were two men inside parked in the parking lot.

When they saw the officers, they quickly started to drive out of the lot. When the officer followed, they sped off and went east on Highway 84.

As they approached Texas Central Parkway, they attempted to exit Highway 84 and make the turn, but hit another vehicle in the process, causing it to roll over.

Their vehicle, a 2013 silver Chevy Malibu, received a broken axle and was disabled about a block away. The two men bailed out and ran into the nearby field, but were chased down and caught.

Police say the driver is identified as 27-year-old Robert Simons from Houston. He was initially being charged with evading arrest in a motor vehicle, aggravated assault connected to striking the other car  and evading on foot.

The passenger, identified as 20-year-old Reginald Lewis of Houston, is being held on evading charges.

Police say other charges may be forthcoming as the investigation is complete.

By Woodway protocol, they were both taken to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Hospital to be checked out for any injuries before being taken to the McLennan County Jail.

The vehicle they were driving had temporary paper license tags from the Houston area.

The occupant of the car which was hit and which rolled over was able to crawl out of the wreck unaided, and was not believed seriously injured. 

The investigation is continuing into whether there were more victims of the suspects before they were caught and low long they may have been working in the area.

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April 29 2021 07:00 pm

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