Suspected metal thieves arrested in Orange County

Wendall Shane Nichols (left) and Dalton Lee Foster

A Department of Public Safety trooper tracked down and arrested two would-be metal thieves, who were attempting to steal from an oilfield site in Jasper County, in Orange County, reports the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a news release from Sheriff Mitchel Newman’s office, the sheriff reported that on the evening of December 2, his office was notified of a theft in progress from an oilfield site that belonged to Century Exploration.  The caller followed the suspect vehicle described as a new gold Dodge truck to the entrance of J-3 Metals in Evadale, Texas. 

The occupants noticed they were being followed and quickly turned around traveling north on HWY 105 at a high rate of speed.  The vehicle started losing oilfield material from the bed of the pickup into the roadway along the way, reports JCSO.  The caller lost sight of the vehicle, but it was quickly located, “in just minutes,” by a DPS Trooper in Orange County. 

The suspects were identified as Wendall Shane Nichols and Dalton Lee Foster.  The materials that had fallen from the vehicle were valued at approximately $10,000.00.  Upon further investigation, more materials were located at J-3 Metals that were stolen from another Century Exploration site on HWY 105.  The total theft of materials from Century Exploration valued at over $200,000.00.  Wendell Nichols and Dalton Foster were charged with state jail felony theft of property.  Further charges are pending at this time.