PALESTINE, Texas (KETK) — Two Palestine men have been arrested and jailed in connection to recent ATV and tractor thefts in the area, according to the Palestine Police Department.
Hollis Shane Brown, 23, and Michael Smith, 27, both of Palestine, were arrested a day apart, Brown on June 15 and Smith on June 16. Both have been booked into the Anderson County Jail on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity and theft of property between $2,500 and $30,000.
According to a press release, before 1 a.m. on June 15, officers with Palestine PD assisted the Anderson County Sheriff’s office in the area of SH 84 and FM 323 after they had observed two individuals on two ATVs.
A deputy on scene attempted to stop them, but both allegedly fled.
The deputy was able to apprehend Brown, but Smith reportedly got away when he fled on foot. Officers then searched the area but were unable to locate him. Brown was taken to the Anderson County Jail shortly after.
The release states that the two ATVs had allegedly been stolen from H&W Honda prior to the altercation and were summarily impounded and later returned to the owners.
After further investigation, Palestine PD investigators identified Brown and Smith as suspects in multiple thefts, including a previous theft at H&W Honda and the theft of a tractor from Lonestar Turf.
Investigators were then able to obtain warrants for Brown and Smith on the aforementioned charges, which were issued by 369th State District Judge Michael Davis.
The following day, on June 16, officers located Smith in a shed in the 100 block of Oakland Drive and took him into custody without incident, booking him into the Anderson County Jail.
Investigators later obtained a search warrant for a property near Tucker, during which additional stolen equipment was located and seized.
The investigation is still ongoing and additional charges are expected, according to police.