The back of the minivan had large rolls of copper taken from oil well sites in South Polk County.
3 Thieves Caught and Charged With Felony Copper Theft, GOODRICH, November 19, 2011 - Shortly after 9 pm on November 19, 2011, an off duty law enforcement officer by chance spotted a vehicle on a private oil well road. The road was off Blue Water Road near FM-943. The off duty officer called the Polk County Sheriff's Office. The driver of the vehicle knew that he had been spotted and made a run for it. The off duty officer stayed on the phone with the Polk County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center while following the fleeing vehicle and continually gave updates on the location of the tan Chevy Astro Minivan. Meanwhile, Deputy Billy Duke with the Polk County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to try and catch the vehicle. The suspects turned off US-146 and onto FM-2665. Through the constant updates provided by the off duty officer, Deputy Duke was able to head off the minivan that had almost made it to the FM-1988 overpass in Goodrich. The van was occupied by three Coldspring residents: Daniel Lee Cornette, 30, Jerry Allen Oyer, 34, and Gary Lynn Ivey, 51 (all of Coldspring). Duke was quickly joined by Deputy Monty Lee. A search of the minivan revealed exactly what was expected, tools for stealing copper from oil well sites and large rolls of copper wiring (already taken). All three were placed under arrest and charged with felony theft of copper (Gary Lynn Ivey faces additional the additional charge of possession when Duke confiscated illegal drugs from him, and Daniel Lee Cornette had a warrant out for his arrest for illegal fishing). All three were transported to Polk County Jail. A rollback wrecker from LakeView recovered the minivan and it was taken to the Sheriff's Office for further investigation.
Gary Lynn Ivey,51, of Colspring: Felony theft of copper and possession of a controlled substance. Ivey is being questioned by Deputy Billy Duke (right) and Deputy Monty Lee.
Jerry Allen Oyer, 34, of Coldspring: Felony Theft of Copper
Daniel Lee Cornette, 30, of Coldspring: Felony Theft of Copper (also had a warrant out for his arrest for illegal fishing).
The minivan was towed by LakeView Wrecker Service.
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