The Orange Police Department is investigating three burglaries that occurred over the weekend. The first was reported at 2:40 AM on Friday at the Dollar General located at 3024 16th Street. Officer Leslie Lovelace was dispatched because of an alarm going off at the store.
The glass to the left of the front door of the store was broken. Lovelace reported there were no suspects located and the building was secured with the assistance of a store’s employee. Stolen were several packs of cigarettes valued at roughly $100.
On Saturday at 11:33 AM, Officer Tim Pruitt was dispatched in reference to a theft at the Granger Dodge Jeep Ram dealership at 4103 S. Lutcher Drive or the Interstate 10 service road. Pruitt met with the service director at the dealership.
Thomas Barrett informed the officer that the dealership was closed Friday at 5:05 PM. When employees arrived Saturday morning at 9:35 AM they discovered tools missing from the shop.
Pruitt reported there was no sign of forced entry, but the southeast bay door was discovered unlocked. This door stays locked and secured according to Barrett.
A check by employees determined that a number of mechanic hand tools including wrenches and rachets were missing. The value of the tools taken was placed at slightly over $9,000.
The third burglary was Saturday afternoon at the Redfish Rental at 1730 S. Highway 87. Officer Pruitt was again dispatched to the scene at 4:20 PM because of an alarm sounding at the business.
Pruitt was advised by the dispatcher that a suspect leaving the Redfish Rental was driving a tan truck with a welding machine taken from the business. Driving to the location the officer observed a tan Chevrolet truck pulling a black welding machine.
A pursuit ensued on Highway 87 at about 80 miles per hour. After pulling into a parking lot the welding machine tipped over and was dragged for about 50 feet by the suspect’s vehicle.
The truck stopped and the suspect attempted to escape. The suspect was captured by Pruitt when the officer threatened to use his taser.
The suspect identified himself as Joseph Reginald Winfrey, age 63, of Houston. Winfrey was taken to the Orange County Jail charged with Burglary of a Building and Evading Arrest.
The recovered welding machine a Lincoln Classic 300D is valued at $15,000. The machine was damaged by it being dragged on the concrete by the suspect.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-