Police identify suspect in armed robberies already in jail for murder

Tyrece Harris

Police in Beaumont have identified a suspect in a series of armed robberies of international Lamar University students that occurred between March 12 and April 18, Sgt. Cody Guedry of the Beaumont Police Department (BPD) reports. The 17-year-old suspect, identified as Tyrese harris of Beaumont, is already in the Jefferson County Jail on murder charges, Guedry said June 14.

According to Guedry, BPD has been working extensively on the armed robberies that occurred in the South End area around Lamar University in March and April. Over the course of about a month, police received reports of approximately 15 armed robberies in which international students were targeted. 

During the investigations, detectives identified Harris as a suspect "in the majority of these armed robberies." Detectives are still identifying other suspects possibly involved in the robberies and are still searching for potential witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to contact BPD at (409) 832-1234 or Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas at 409-833-TIPS(8477).

“We expect these robbery cases to be filed in the upcoming weeks and want the public to please come forward with any information or instances where they may have been victimized in this manner and did not report it to police at the time of the incident,” Guedry said.

At this time, Harris is currently in the Jefferson County Jail being held on a murder charge stemming from the April 26 homicide that occurred in the 900 block of Sunmeadow Drive in Beaumont.

At the time of the homicide, BPD reported officers responded to the 900 block of Sunmeadow Drive at about 7 a.m. on April 26 in reference to a possible deceased person. EMS personnel confirmed the male was deceased of gunshot wounds, and investigators determined that the man was the victim of a homicide. BPD later identified the deceased victim as 52-year-old Jimmy Bertrand.

A short time after the homicide, detectives obtained a murder warrant for Harris, the man their investigation led them to believe was responsible for the heinous act of violence. BPD Officer Doug Kibodeaux reported that Harris turned himself in at the Beaumont police station at about 10 p.m. on May 6.

Harris was transported to the Jefferson County Jail on the murder charge and is being held on a $500,000 bond.