By CLINT FOSTER
Mineral Wells Police responded to two incidents last week involving criminals who were apparently thinking with their stomachs.
The first, according to the Mineral Wells Police Department, was on the afternoon of Oct. 28. Police said around 11:45 a.m., officer Lloyd Foley was dispatched to the Dollar General in the 200 block of SE 1st Avenue in response to a theft call. According to the MWPD incident report, the store clerk told officer Foley that a male suspect wearing a black hoodie and blue jean shorts had stolen a box of Snickers ice cream bars and left the store heading south.
With a description in hand, Foley drove south in his patrol car and found a subject matching the clerk’s description in the 300 block of SW 5th Street. The subject was none other than Leonard Ray Loftis, 25 – whom the Index reported in mid-September was taken to jail for evad-ing arrest because he told police he thought he had a warrant, which he did not.
There Loftis stood, with the box of ice cream bars in one hand and a half-eaten ice cream bar in the other hand, according to the incident report. Foley recognized him immediately from past experience. Foley stepped out of his patrol car to talk to Loftis.
Police said Loftis was acting “very nervous,” so Foley patted him down to make sure he had no weapons. Foley walked Loftis to the back of his patrol car, intending to have him sit in the back seat while he finished the investigation. But, according to the report, when Foley reached to unlock the door, Loftis bolted.
According to MWPD, Foley pursued Loftis on foot, warning him that he would taser him if he did not stop. As the chase neared SW 6th Street, Foley shot his taser and Loftis went down on his stomach in the grass. Foley then pinned and cuffed him, according to the incident report.
When asked why he ran, Loftis said he was scared he would go back to jail for stealing the ice cream. Somewhat ironically, he was then transported to MWPD, where he was booked.
In a second incident, it would appear that two men were perhaps just thirsty.
On Oct. 30 around 11:30 p.m., police said a passerby in the 1300 block of SE 1st Street witnessed two men trying to load the vending machine from Quick Oil Change into the back of their truck. Police said when the two saw the witness, they dropped the machine and fled.
When police reached the scene, they found the dropped and now-broken vending machine. The resulting offense for the two unidentified subjects was criminal mischief between $500 and $1,500.