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God and Chief Welch were watching…

TONYAThieves recently targeted an East Montgomery County business, but their choice of target and their timing doomed their plan.

Around 11 p.m. October 9, a Montgomery County Precinct 4 Deputy Constable responded to the Lansdowne Moody Tractor business on US 59 in Splendora after receiving a call from Pct. 4 Chief Deputy Barry Welch, who was off-duty.

Chief Welch was going to a 24-hour prayer gathering at the church beside the dealership when he saw a blue Chevy Blazer parked near the Lansdowne Moody fence. As he approached to investigate, the woman in the vehicle attempted to drive away through the church parking lot. Chief Welch stopped her and immediately noticed a large part, soon confirmed to have been removed from a piece of the dealership’s expensive equipment. He also saw a hole in their chain link fence where the Blazer was parked when he arrived.

The suspect claimed her male friend called her asking for a ride from the church and when she arrived, she said, he loaded the stolen part into the vehicle. She claimed he ran away when he saw an officer, leaving her alone with the stolen part in the vehicle.

Deputies also found multiple items containing other people’s identifying information in her purse. She claimed she was holding them for someone.

The female suspect was arrested and the investigation is ongoing and there is a person of interest with whom investigators need to speak.
Tonya Lynn Heath, 36, of Livingston is charged with third-degree felony Fraudulent Possession of Identifying Information and class A misdemeanor Theft (more than $1,500, but less than $20,000)

Constable Hayden said he was glad Chief Welch noticed the suspicious activity the resulted in Heath’s arrest and the recovery of the expensive part.

“It’s important that we protect local businesses that provide services to our community,” Constable Hayden said.

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