By Journal Staff
Three Texas residents are in custody following a high-speed vehicle chase early Monday that began on residential streets in Minden, wound through rural areas of Webster and Bossier parishes and eventually climaxed in Smith County, Texas.
Chief of Police Jared McIver said the suspects are believed to be part of an auto theft ring in the Dallas area who had come to Minden to meet other unidentified suspects with the intent of selling a stolen vehicle.
Currently in custody in Tyler, Texas are Everl Carbenas, 23, and Christopher Powell, 18, both listing Dallas addresses and 18-year-old Terrance Boley of Savoville, Texas. Deputy Chief Chris Cheatham and lead detective Sgt. Shane Griffith were in Texas Tuesday to question the suspects, McIver said. Extradition to Minden will be pursued, the chief said.
McIver said events began around 8 a.m. Monday when an alert citizen reported suspicious vehicles and activities at an abandoned church on the corner of Midland and Plateau streets.
“Because of our proactive patrol program, an officer was in the area and immediately responded. That quick response stopped the transaction and the suspects fled the scene with our officer and other agencies in pursuit,” McIver said. “Our officer did everything right in pursuing the vehicle and keeping vital information coming to us.”
According to the chief, the suspects led officers from multiple agencies in a chase at speeds that exceeded 100 m.p.h. south on U.S. 371 through Sibley before turning onto side roads near Heflin. More units joined the pursuit as the suspects returned to Sibley before turning west on LA 164 where officers reported the suspects reaching speeds over 140 m.p.h. in the stolen Chevy Camaro SS.
“They got through Haughton and apparently turned north at the intersection of LA 157 where we lost contact,” McIver said. “We received word later that the suspects were in custody in Smith County where they were apprehended after the stolen vehicle was disabled.”
During the chase, MPD was joined by officers from the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office, Sibley PD, Haughton PD, the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana state troopers.
“We want to thank the other agencies for their assistance and especially thank the Smith County Sheriff’s Office for helping with our investigation,” McIver said.
Although three suspects are in custody, investigators are still looking for others who could be involved in the case. McIver said the suspects were meeting others at the abandoned church and those individuals are being sought. Investigators have a description of the second vehicle and are asking anyone who may have information to contact the MPD office.