Update on auto theft investigation KFDM broke Tuesday night; new details about suspects

Devonta Stoker

Beaumont Police are releasing new details about a breakthrough in an auto theft investigation Chief Jim Singletary told KFDM involves stolen vehicles in the West End, other parts of the city and Jefferson County.

On Tuesday, July 17, , at 4:36 p.m., Beaumont Police responded to Academy Sporting Goods, 7130 Eastex Freeway, for a reported theft in progress. The caller was able to give descriptions of the 5 suspects as well as the vehicle they were attempting to leave in.

Officers responding to the area recognized the vehicle description as one that was linked to numerous auto burglaries across the City of Beaumont. The officers were able to stop the vehicle and detain the five suspects. Detectives from BPD’s Criminal Investigations Division, Special Assignment Unit and the Southeast Texas Auto Theft Task Force arrived on scene to assist.

During the investigation into the theft, officers located a bag containing at least 5 handguns, several of which were stolen, magazines and ammunition. Devonta Tyrone Stoker and Anthony Deshone Smith, both 17-year-old Beaumont residents, were arrested for Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon. The other 3 occupants of the vehicle were two 16 year old juveniles and one 13 year old juvenile.

Detectives believe the theft investigation was a major break in the continuous auto burglary and auto theft cases that have plagued the city and surrounding areas. Police believe the suspects are responsible and/or connected to a majority of those crimes. This investigation is complex and on-going according to police. Officers say additional charges are pending against all 5 suspects. Investigators tell KFDM they believe the suspects may have been involved in a number of auto burglaries in the past 30-45 days.

Police remind citizens to remain vigilant, lock vehicles, take ALL valuable items especially firearms out of vehicles, and file a police report if you are the victim of an auto burglary. Police responded to about 900 auto burglary calls since January but not all of them resulted in police reports.

This theft case unfolded into a much larger investigation due to citizens who captured video of these auto burglary suspects on their home surveillance systems and turned that information over to police.

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