By CLINT FOSTER
The Mineral Wells Police Department responded to a number of burglaries, thefts and robberies over the past week, but a few stuck out from the rest.
First was a call to a burglary in progress in the 1500 block of SW 5th Avenue around 9:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 14. Police said a couple were sitting at home watching television when their dogs started barking and there was a knock at the door.
According to MWPD, the man of the house answered the door to find an unknown man wearing a menacing mask and brandishing a pistol. The suspect forced his way into the home, assaulting the homeowner before he proceeded to ransack the house.
Police said the suspect stole multiple items, many of which were recovered, but the couple is still missing a Remington 700 rifle, valued at around $1,000, an iphone, various jewelry in a white box and some cash.
Police said the investigation is ongoing, but the suspect stands accused of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and burglary of a habitation with intention of another felony.
Also that evening, police turned a traffic stop into two arrests for a prior incident. At around 6:30 p.m., Monday, police pulled over a Chevrolet Tahoe for an expired State Inspection sticker. Soon after making the stop, police said they found multiple items in the vehicle that were in connection with an incident of theft of property between $1,500 and $20,000 that was reported between 10 p.m. on Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday.
Police said among the allegedly stolen property was a Porter Cable Framing nailer (valued at around $499), a Graco Pro Shot II Airless Sprayer (valued at around $699), a pressure washer (valued at around $299), a DeWalt roofing nailer (valued at around $200), a Bosh jigsaw with blades (valued at around $219), a pipe wrench and some bolt cutters.
Police arrested both Tomas V. Navarrette, 34, and Ismael Rodriguez, 32, for possession of stolen property. MWPD said Rodriguez also had a Palo Pinto County warrant for criminal mischief.
The third stealing-related incident took place in the 1900 block of SE 11th Avenue on Tuesday, just before 6:30 p.m. Police said they responded to a domestic disturbance call at this location where a woman said she had been talking with a male acquaintance in her front yard.
Police said the victim went on to say during their conversation, the man grabbed her purse and began to run away. But the victim kept a tight grip on her purse, to the point that the man began dragging her by the purse.
The suspect jumped into the passenger’s seat of a car, yet even as the driver began to pull away, the victim would not let go, being dragged behind the vehicle for a short distance before finally losing her grip.
Police have a name for the suspect in this robbery and said an arrest is pending.
In unrelated news, police dealt with two other noteworthy incidents recently that both resulted in arrests.
First was a suspicious person call around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Police said they rolled to the 700 block of SW 17th Street where a man had been walking around a house, knocking on doors and windows.
Police found the man, identified as Jacob Aaron Tankersley, 19, who said he had been walking around the neighborhood, knocking on doors in an attempt to borrow a a phone with which he could call his girlfriend.
MWPD received consent to search Tankersley and found four syringes in his possession. Police placed him under arrest for criminal trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Finally, police made another arrest after a traffic accident last Friday, Dec. 13, around 5:30 p.m.
Police said Jose Rivera Gonzalez, 19, was driving at an unsafe speed on West Hubbard Street, through the middle of Mineral Wells, when his white, four-door Lincoln Town Car ran off the road and smashed into four new cars in the display lot of Jack Powell Ford.
When MWPD arrived on the scene, they arrested Gonzalez for having no driver’s license and other vehicle inspection violations.