Detectives Arrest Driver Who Stole Pickup in Goodrich, GOODRICH, April 22, 2015 - On the morning of April 22, 2015, Detective Byron Dunaway and Deputy Billy Duke were patrolling in the vicinity of Goodrich on FM-1988 West when they spotted a man fitting the description of the driver who stole a pickup one day earlier. Joel Anthony Mason, 26, of Lumberton was spotted off 1988 (near Gokey's Grocery). Dunaway and Duke moved in and placed Mason under arrest and brought him in to the Polk County Jail. Mason has been charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, resisting arrest search or transport, evading arrest, and escape from custody. On April 21, 2015, Mason allegedly stole a pickup truck from a construction site in Goodrich and crashed it upside down into a creek off Loop 393. Mason crawled from the wreckage and fled the scene, but left his pants with his wallet and identification in the wreckage which helped detectives positively identify him. When he was found by detectives off FM-1988, he was reportedly wearing shorts.
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Driver Steals Truck, Crashes It Into Creek, GOODRICH, April 21, 2015 - At approximately 5:15 pm on April 21, 2015, a man stole a truck (2009 Chevy Silverado) from a construction site and headed south on Loop 393. The driver left the pavement to the right and struck the edge of a concrete beam on a permanent drainage structure over a creek. The impact caused the truck to literally flip over its front end and land upside down in a creek. According to witnesses, a man crawled out of the truck, appeared intoxicated, and ran into the woods. Americare Ambulance Service was dispatched to the scene along with Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office including Burt Sims, Sergeant Lee Rogers, and Corporal Jacob Chapman. Additionally, Trooper Donny Akers with the Texas Highway Patrol was dispatched to investigate the crash. Deputies immediately began searching the vicinity for the suspect, but were unable to locate the suspect. When the driver crawled out of the vehicle, his pants came off, and his wallet was in his pants. Officers found his identification in his wallet. An arrest is expected soon. Detective Byron Dunaway with the Polk County Sheriff's Office was summoned to begin an investigation into the alleged theft. The owner of the truck, Wayne Babcock, of Livingston, quickly arrived on the scene. The whole sordid affair remains under investigation by the Texas Highway Patrol and the Polk County Sheriff's Office. The truck was recovered by Ken's Towing and will be stored at Harrison Body Shop in Livingston.
Tire tracks lead to the edge of a permanent concrete drainage structure where the truck's front end cuaght the top edge causing the truck to flip into the creek.
When the vehicle was turned upright, the wall of the permanent drainage structure caused problems with the recovery.
Heavy equipment from the nearby construction site was brought in to help lift the truck over the wall.
Detective Byron Dunaway searches the vehicle.
Houdini (right) assisted Ken's Towing with vehicle recovery.
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