Around 3 p.m. Thursday, Precinct 4 Deputy Constables patrolling the shopping district of Porter were dispatched to a theft in progress at the Walmart store on the US 59 feeder road. Walmart Loss Prevention employees were attempting to detain several suspects in connection with felony level shoplifting.
Pct. 4 Chief Deputy Barry Welch said deputies found six suspects, who scattered when they saw law enforcement, with one of the males taking an infant that was not his and fleeing after the woman driving the vehicle the child was inside refused to drive off. Welch said the suspects were telling the woman to “take off” and store employees were telling her to stay put. She listened to the store employees and one of the male suspects grabbed the 6-month-old baby boy, who was not in a car seat, and ran away. At some point the suspect got into a vehicle with the child and left the Walmart parking lot. The infant was later recovered, apparently unharmed, in the City of Patton Village. Child Protective Services took possession of the child.
Deputies arrested a total of six suspects as of press time, in connection with the theft of over $2,500 in merchandise, as well as the kidnapping of the afore mentioned child.
The mother of the child, Amanda Jordan, was one of the suspects taken into custody, processed at the East County Annex and transported to the Montgomery County Jail in Conroe where she somehow managed to escape while unloading despite handcuffs and leg irons. She was soon recaptured, but the incident added an escape charge to her other charges.
Ashley Nichole Hoffpauir, 26, of Splendora; Tommie Michelle Darnell, 38, of Splendora; Robert Leon Downs, 37, of Splendora; and James Robert Downs, 32, of Splendora are charged with state jail felony Theft ($1,500 to $20,000); state jail felony Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity; and two counts of class A misdemeanor Organized Retail Theft.
Amanda Leann Jordan, 26, of Splendora is charged with state jail felony Theft ($1,500 to $20,000); state jail felony Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity; two counts of class A misdemeanor Organized Retail Theft; and Escape from Custody.
Jason Eugene Bass, 33, of Splendora is charged with first-degree felony Kidnapping; state jail felony Theft ($1,500 to $20,000); state jail felony Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity; and two counts of class A misdemeanor Organized Retail Theft.
Chief Welch said Precinct 4 has stepped up patrols in the Porter shopping district to make Christmas shopping safer. The East Montgomery County Improvement District provided $10,000 for additional manpower during this time, with more patrol vehicles on duty, as well as bicycle patrols in the parking lots. So far, Precinct 4 Deputies have made over 20 arrests in that area and five were felonies.
Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables were assisted by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Roman Forest Police Department and Patton Village Police Department.
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