Theft suspect caught, charged with fleeing from deputies

James Westbrook of Atlanta, Georgia

UPDATE: May 24 around 3 p.m. deputies arrested and transported 35-year-old James Westbrook of Atlanta, Georgia, to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility. Westbrook is being charged with evading and felony evading arrest in a motor vehicle. Westbrook was caught on a residential security camera in Chambers County approximately 30 minutes prior to fleeing from JCSO Deputies. Items found in the bed of the truck are being checked as a possibility that they were stolen. The sheriff's office is also awaiting possible charges from Georgia where the owner of the truck reported it stolen May 18.

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Wednesday morning, May 23, 2018, at 10:17, Jefferson County deputies attempted to make a traffic stop on a black GMC Sierra truck on IH10 near Goodyear. The driver began fleeing from deputies at a high rate of speed. The suspect drove erratically on IH10, Hwy 124 and Hwy 365, according to a press release from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and then abandoned his truck on Labelle Road just south of Hwy 365.

The suspect, described as a white male, thin build, short to balding hair, orange shirt and khakis, fled on foot into the wooded area.

An initial search, lasting several hours, yielded no suspect. A Port Neches PD officer and his K-9 assisted in the search in the pouring rain. The search was scaled back for a few minutes until an alert homeowner saw the suspect in his yard using his water hose. Deputies immediately arrived, according to the release, and as the suspect fled back into the woods, another search of the wooded area began. Deputies were also searching private properties in the area.

The weather cleared enough that the JCSO helicopter was able to participate in the search. Citizens in the area were reminded to remove guns from their vehicles, lock their vehicles and lock their residential doors, and call 911 if they see anything suspicious.

The truck has a Georgia registration, and a possible owner has been contacted by phone. The truck was towed and stored as evidence.

— JCSO

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