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02/20/2017 – Time On Our Side

Criminals seem to believe that going a long time without getting caught is an indication that they got away with their crime.  They might be right, if not for Crime Stoppers Tipsters.

In December of 2015, Crime Stoppers asked for help solving a purse snatching incident involving someone stealing a purse from a woman’s car while she was parking at her residence.  The case was not solved but the investigators refused to give up, and one year later they again asked the public to anonymously submit tips that might help solve the case.

Crime Stoppers reran video of the purse snatching and of two people stealing computers from Walmart.  The computer thieves, who were initially believed to be two men, drove the car used in the purse snatching.  The video is included here and posted at facebook.com/639TIPS.

The image quality was poor but several tipsters recognized the thieves as John Taylor Mitchell, a 22-year-old black male, and Kiara Jerschell Deckard, a 22-year-old black female.  Those anonymous tips helped investigators obtain warrants for Mitchell and Deckard for the computer thefts; both had prior theft convictions so the thefts were state jail felony offenses.  Deckard surrendered at Montgomery County Jail February 18 and Mitchell surrendered at Angelina County Jail February 19.

The purse snatching investigation continues but, based upon the descriptions of the suspects, the vehicle used, and time frame between the two thefts, it seems likely that Mitchell and Deckard are the offenders in both crimes.

If you provided an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers identifying John Mitchell and Kiara Deckard, follow the tip follow up instructions you received or click the Tip Follow Up button near the top of this page.  Only the first, most accurate tip can be rewarded but that might have been your tip.

Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement.  Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.



UPDATED 02/14/2017 – Taking Tips

Whatever your views on the matter, tipping at restaurants is a common practice. Whether you refuse to tip, tip to reward good service, tip out of a sense of obligation, or tip to show off, you probably know that the objective is to give money to the server, not to take from them.

Yesterday, Crime Stoppers asked for help identifying a man who had reversed the tipping process.  Employees at China Hibachi Grill in Lufkin reported that several times recently a man took money from a tip jar; grabbing the cash and running from the store.  His thefts were unimpeded until the first of February when a female employee intervened.  The thief didn’t stop, shoving the employee as he fled and breaking a glass door.  He got away with less than $100 but the assault could turn the theft into a robbery.  Before any charge could be filed, investigators needed to identify the thief so Crime Stoppers offered reward money to encourage someone to give a tip of a different type; an anonymous, crime-solving tip; and anonymous tipsters responded.

Images pulled from a camera outside the restaurant were grainy but provided enough detail that numerous tipsters were able to correctly identify the suspect.  The suspect is a juvenile so Crime Stoppers will not be releasing his name and, once the investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to Angelina County Juvenile Probation.

If you provided an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers regarding the identify of the thief, follow the tip follow up instructions you received or click the Tip Follow Up button near the top of this page.

Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and only the first, most accurate tip that leads to an arrest can be rewarded.  Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement.  Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.



02/06/2017 – Wanted for Aggravated Robbery

Angelina County law enforcement officers are looking for Brian Andrew Leviness, the last of five suspects wanted for the first degree felony offense of Aggravated Robbery, and Crime Stoppers wants to pay rewards for anonymously-provided information that leads to an arrest.

According to a Zavalla Police Department investigation, Larry Shayne McHale, Charles Eddie Evans, Dale Jene Evans, Brian Andrew Leviness, and Hayley Ryan Leviness each participated in the theft of a motorcycle, and the contents of its saddle bags, while causing bodily injury to the victim.  In seeking warrants for the five, the investigating officer stated that the robbery occurred on Barge Road in Zavalla the evening of January 22 and involved the male victim being beaten before his motorcycle and property were taken.

The victim reported that he went to the Barge Road residence at the request of one of suspects and was attacked when he attempted to leave.  He said his head was struck with a hard, possibly metal, object, causing him severe pain and knocking him to the floor.  Once down, he was stomped on and kicked and dragged down steps outside the residence.  He said he escaped when the suspects took his keys and turned their attention to stealing his motorcycle, described as a burgundy and black Suzuki GSXR 1300 Hayabusa with a Louisiana license plate.

  • Brian Andrew Leviness, 25, of Zavalla
  • Larry Shayne McHale, 35, of Zavalla (CAPTURED 01-27-2017)
  • Charles Eddie Evans, 24, of San Augustine (CAPTURED 02-03-2017)
  • Dale Jene Evans, 45, of Huntington (CAPTURED 02-06-2017)
  • Hayley Ryan Leviness, 20, of Zavalla (CAPTURED 02-09-2017)
The listed warrant information was correct when published but may change before being read.  Warrants must be verified before arrest.  NEVER attempt to apprehend any suspect yourself; doing so may be dangerous and Crime Stoppers will not pay a reward to anyone involved in such action.

If you know the CURRENT location of Brian Andrew Leviness, call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS, click the “Tip: Brian Leviness” button below, or submit a tip using the P3 Tip app (iTunes | Google Play).

Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and the first, most accurate tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.  Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement.  Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.



02/03/2017 - Vehicle Burglary

Around 4:30 PM February 02, a man wearing a black and white hoodie burglarized a Dodge Nitro parked outside a dentist’s office in the 400 block of West Frank Avenue in Lufkin.  After smashing a window and opening a door, the criminal took a purse from the vehicle and fled on foot, headed eastbound toward North Bonner Street.  Video and images of the burglar have been posted several times and many names have been suggested for the burglar but, as of 7:30 PM February 03, the investigation is open and the criminal’s identity is still in question.

Crime Stoppers will accept tips regarding this burglary until the case is solved.  Regardless of where you find video, photos, and information concerning this crime, Crime Stoppers will not pay rewards for information provided through any source other than tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers via its anonymous telephone tipline, this website, or the P3 Tips App. Tips received after an arrest has been made by are not eligible for a Crime Stoppers Reward.  Tips concerning information previously provided to or known by law enforcement (or information posted on Facebook) are not eligible for a Crime Stoppers Reward.

If you can identify the suspect, call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS, click the “Solve This” button below, or submit a tip using the P3 Tip app (iTunes | Google Play).

Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers. Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.



01/30/2017 – Shoplifter

In Texas, the punishment for theft is determine by the type and value of the property stolen.  Theft of property valued at less than $100 is, in most cases, punished as a Class C misdemeanor.  Crime Stoppers profiles such crimes when it appears the offense ultimately will be punished as a state jail felony offense.  You see, the law provides a punishment enhancement for offenders with prior theft convictions.

Since practiced thieves tend to act different than first-timers, investigators have a good idea of the type thief they’re dealing with before they come to Crime Stoppers.  This suspect appears to have had practice.

Family Dollar employees alerted each other as soon as the suspect entered the Lufkin store.  They did not know his name but believed he had previously stolen from the store, so they treated him as a regular customer while trying to watch him.

An employee assisted the suspect by retrieving a tablet computer from a top shelf but attempted to keep the tablet at the register.  She was successful until distracted by helping an actual customer.  That’s when the suspect took the tablet and left the store.

The suspect is a black male and he was wearing a green, camouflage-pattern jacket and a black headband/ear-warmer. Video of the crime is included here and posted at facebook.com/639TIPS.

If you can identify the suspect, call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS, click the “Solve This” button below, or submit a tip using the P3 Tip app (iTunes | Google Play).

Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and the first, most accurate tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.  Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement.  Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.



01/04/2017 – Stolen Guns

Angelina County Sheriff’s Office investigators need help solving a vehicle burglary that resulted in the theft of several guns.

December 28, a Ford F-150 parked at Marion’s Ferry boat ramp was forcibly entered and three guns were stolen from it.  The unidentified burglars smashed the window of the driver’s door and took a shotgun, a rifle, and a derringer pistol.  The guns were concealed beneath clothing but that didn’t fool the burglars.

  • Browning 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun with a wood stock, gold trigger and ribbed barrel
  • Browning 270 semi-automatic rifle with light colored wood stock and 3.5x10x50 Leopold scope
  • Cobra derringer 9MM, double-barrel, blued handgun

If you can identify the burglars or know the location of the stole guns, call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS, click one of the “Solve This” button below, or use Crime Stoppers’ P3 Tips app (iTunes | Google Play).  Crime Stoppers may pay a reward for the first, most accurate anonymous tip that leads to an arrest or the recovery of the stolen guns.

Calls and tips DIRECTLY TO CRIME STOPPERS are anonymous and Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement.  Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.



UPDATED 01/02/2017 – SUSPECT IDENTIFIED - Christmas in July

The desire to steal is a rather selfish trait, so it’s more likely than not that your Christmas gifts either came from the North Pole or were paid for with hard-earned money.  For those who knew they were facing a lump of coal in their stocking, theft might have seemed like a viable option.

The suspect in this theft went “shopping” in a Lufkin store and left wearing the merchandise.  The crime actually occurred in July but until today, and without the help of anonymous Crime Stoppers tips, the investigators had not been able to identify the suspect.

The video, included here and posted at facebook.com/639TIPS, shows a man browsing for a while and then entering the fitting rooms with several shirts and a pair of pants.  Store employees claim the man exited wearing the pants and three shirts but it’s not clear from the video that he had on multiple shirts and he looked to be wearing his own clothes.  A closer inspection of the video revealed that the pants and outer shirt were the same color and style as what he wore to the store but he was wearing one of the Polo brand shirts he took to the fitting room.

Before leaving without paying, he stuffed his own clothes onto a shelf.  An employee tracked him with the store’s cameras but, with the items he stole looking so similar to the clothes he wore in, they weren't sure a theft had occurred until they recovered the wadded up clothes he left and confirmed they were used.

Multiple anonymous tips identified the same man as the suspect in this case.

The investigating detective much verify the suspect's identity before filing the appropriate criminal charge but, at this time, additional tips are not necessary.  Only the first, most accurate tip received can be rewarded and a reward cannot be authorized until the case is closed and the suspect arrested.

If you submitted a tip, follow the tip followup instructions you received or click the "Tip Follow Up" button above.

Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement. Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.



12/26/2016 – Buffet Burglars

Over the night of December 18, someone burglarized Grapeland Cafe, a restauranton Highway 287 North in Grapeland.  It’s difficult for any business to succeed and restaurants have an even harder time but the difficulties are compounded for a restaurant in a small community, so the Cafe doesn’t need the added headache of thieves.

The burglars found a little cash inside the building and they took meat from the cooler.  Stealing the meat likely will be what gets them caught.  Even if no one witnessed the crime and if the criminals don’t bragged about it, someone will have noticed a friend or family member with meat that they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, have purchased and that looks like it came from a restaurant.  An anonymous tipster who helps identify the burglars might receive a belated gift from Crime Stoppers.

Like most crimes, the effects of a business being burglarized can be felt by more than just the owners.  The property damage and lost supplies cost money, which can mean less profit for operating the business, less money for paying employees, and higher prices for customers.  If the reviews are any indication, the community enjoys the restaurant and wants to see it thrive, and solving this crime is a step toward that goal.

If you can identify the burglars, call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS, click the “Solve Tip” button below, or submit a tip using the P3 Tip app (iTunes | Google Play).

Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and the first, most accurate tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.  Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement.  Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.



12/05/2016 – You Were Warned

Regular readers of Crime Stoppers’ Crime of the Week spots will remember that before Thanksgiving we warned you to pay attention when shopping and to keep hold of your purse and wallet.  This week, we have video that will show you just how easy it is to fall victim to opportunistic thieves.  The theft seen in the video (included here and posted at facebook.com/639TIPS) occurred in August but it proves that there’s never a good time to leave your wallet in a public place.

It’s easy to get distracted; you’re paying for your purchase, watching the kids, and thinking about the dozens of other things on your plate.  That appears to be what happened to our victim.  He ordered food from Little Caesar’s Pizza on North Timberland Drive in Lufkin and, while watching his kids and trying to pay, he laid his wallet on the counter and there it stayed…at least until the next customer found it.

The next customer, a woman, appears to notice the wallet straight away and when the employee turned around to grab a pizza, the woman grabbed the wallet and rifled through it to see what she had.  

She returned the wallet to the counter when another customer arrived but she claimed it again before leaving.  Giving a strong indication that she wasn’t just looking for the wallet’s rightful owner, she used her pizza box to hide her actions.  With the wallet tucked under the box, she left the building.

The woman paid using cash and the pizza wasn’t preordered, so the purchase didn’t help identify her.  The woman’s face isn’t clear in the video but someone will know who she is.  If that someone is you, call Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS, click the “Solve Tip” button below, or submit a tip using the P3 Tip app (iTunes | Google Play).

Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and the first, most accurate tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.  Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement.  Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.



11/29/2016 - Theft and Fraud

Groveton Police Department needs to identify a theft and credit card fraud suspect and Crime Stoppers would like to reward someone who can help do it.

A wallet was stolen November 19 from the Dollar General in Groveton and one of the debit cards in the wallet was later used at that Dollar General and at Walmart in Livingston.  One of the fraudulent charges was for just under $40 but the other was for more than $350.  The investigating officer was able to obtain the included photo of the suspect at Walmart.

If you can you identify the suspect, submit an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip by calling (936) 639-TIPS, clicking the “Solve Tip” button below, or using the P3 Tip app (iTunes | Google Play).  Calls and tips directly to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and the first, most accurate tip that leads to an arrest might be eligible for a reward.

Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement.  Funds for Crime Stoppers rewards come from fees paid by convicted criminals.



Anonymous App

Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers has an app for anonymously submitting crime-solving tips from your iOS and Android device.

The P3 Tips app by Anderson Software is available, for free, from the iTunes and Google Play stores.  Once installed, you’ll set your location; choosing Angelina, Houston, or Trinity County, or a city within those counties, will bring you to Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers.

To submit an anonymous tip, select an offense type and then add any information you have.  Investigators need as much detail as possible.  Describe the crime, name the suspect, and answer as many questions as possible. The app even lets you send photos and videos.

Once received and reviewed, Crime Stoppers will respond to you through the app.  The process is anonymous, so Crime Stoppers will never know who you are, but you’ll be able to send and receive messages about the crime and possible reward.

The app will provide you a tip number and password for use when updating the tip or collecting a reward.

You can add information to your tip anytime and Crime Stoppers can pass along questions from investigators.  

The app is passcode protected to prevent prying eyes from seeing your tip and possible reward.  At any time, you can submit new tips, review and update an existing tip, or check the status of a tip or reward.

Crime Stoppers tips are anonymous and Crime Stoppers Tipsters must remain anonymous to be eligible for a reward, so never share your app password or identify yourself in a tip.  Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for anonymous, crime-solving tips received through the telephone tipline (936-639-TIPS), Crime Stoppers’ website (www.639TIPS.com), and the P3 Tips app.

You have to be quick if you want to be the first to submit a Crime Stoppers tip; a reward can be paid only to the first, most accurate tip we receive.



Thrifty Thieves

Crime Stoppers exists to reduce criminal activity by educating the public and providing a way to anonymously assist in identifying criminals.  This week, Crime Stoppers wants to educate the public about a common criminal activity in hopes of preventing future occurrences.

The Family Crisis Center of East Texas, a local charity, operates stores in Lufkin through which the sale of donated items provides funds for fulfilling its mission of keeping families safe and free from abuse.  When donors drop off items after the stores have closed for the day, the stores are not the only ones who appreciate the after-hours generosity.  Regularly, “shoppers” pick through the donations and steal what they want.

The donations left outside the stores are not free for the taking; they are donations to the charity and taking them is theft.  The people in the video included here might say they needed charity or that they did not steal but scurrying around when a store is closed is not the act of a person who believes they are within the law.

The Family Crisis Center Thrift Store has not yet sought to file criminal charges regarding the videoed incidents, so Crime Stoppers cannot offer a specific reward for the identification of the actors, but the thefts need to stop.   If you know the people in the video, tell them that what they did is a crime.  If you witness someone stealing donations from this, or any charity, immediately contact the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction.