On Wednesday evening, some of the “Men in Black” were the “Men on Bikes,” and they proved just as effective on two wheels. Precinct 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden, Chief Deputy Barry Welch, Cpl. Looza, Deputy Arnold, Deputy Cannon, and Deputy Rivera were on bicycle patrol in the area of FM 1314 between US 59 and Loop 494. Their mission was to monitor the store parking lots for illegal activity with the onslaught of holiday shoppers.
Just after 6:15 p.m., as the other deputies maintained patrol, Constable Hayden and Chief Welch went into Wal-Mart for some additional safety lights for their bicycles. As they were checking out at the sporting goods counter, the clerk commented on several fishing reel packages she found empty. One of the packages had a small amount of blood on it. A customer who overheard the conversation told Constable Hayden that as deputies drove past, a man standing in front of the store wearing a camouflage jacket and holding several reels had tried to hide.
Constable Hayden immediately notified the other deputies of the situation, and as he remained to get further information, Chief Welch went out to assist the other officers in locating the suspect. Just outside the door, they found the suspect the witness described.
He was identified as Chester Dale Blevins, 43, of Splendora. He was in possession of several fishing reels, but denied stealing them. Blevins told deputies they were given to him as a gift. He tried to convince them he was a victim of circumstance, in the wrong place at the wrong time, that they had the wrong man. Deputies also noticed Blevins’ finger happened to have a deep cut that was bleeding and he had no explanation for the injury.
As deputies interviewed Blevins, 38-year-old Larry G. Doyle, of 19152 Timberland in Porter, walked up to inquire as to what was happening to his friend. As deputies tried to speak with him, Doyle became very defensive and said he was not involved in the theft. He told deputies another male had driven him and Blevins to the Porter Wal-Mart for beer and cigarettes.
Deputies were finally able to locate the truck that Doyle claimed had brought them. It was in the parking lot beside the store. Deputies identified the pickup’s driver and he gave them permission to search his vehicle. Inside the bed of the truck, in an open cardboard box, they discovered several quarts of oil , a lock and several fishing reels.
Constable Hayden contacted the Wal-Mart management and Loss Prevention officers, who met with them and were able to match the fishing reels with the packages found empty inside the store. After intensive questioning, the driver denied any knowledge of the reels but Doyle and Blevins finally admitted to being part of it.
Doyle stated he took a white plastic bag with the reels from Blevins inside the store and then exited to the parking lot. He was waiting for Blevins at the truck.
Both were taken into custody and charged with misdemeanor theft. In addition, both had a strong odor of alcohol on them and were also charged with public intoxication. The value of the reels was just over $350. Both were transported to the Precinct 4 Office and booked into the Montgomery County Jail.