TEXARKANA, Texas (KETK) – Two individuals were arrested after reportedly looting a home that was under renovation and calling in a fake shooting from a local Walmart to try and distract officers during the initial arrest.
The Texarkana Police Department responded to reports of a man and woman trespassing at a vacant home in the Highland Park neighborhood. The owner of the home told officers that she was in the process of renovating the house when she discovered two individuals had been coming around when no one was at the property and going through things in the house.
When police arrived, they reportedly saw a man identified as Joseph Denton outside the house in the yard. Denton’s alleged story to the officers was that he and his female friend were given permission to take “whatever they wanted from the carport.”
According to police, Denton did not realize the owner of the house was with officers while he was giving his story to them and she quickly refuted that information and said she had not given permission to anyone to take things from the property.
Officers then proceeded to arrest Denton but during the body search, officials said they found “some meth hidden in his shirt pocket” before putting him into their patrol car.
During the arrest, police reportedly received a 911 call from a woman saying that she had been shot by a man in a nearby Walmart parking lot and he was walking towards them again. When officers and an ambulance arrived, officials said there was nothing happening in that Walmart parking lot.
Authorities then conducted a ping on the phone used for the 911 call and discovered it had come from inside the home where officers were arresting Denton.
After getting permission from the home owner, police said they searched the home and found Denton’s “female friend,” April Collvins, hiding in the attic. Authorities said she saw Denton was being arrested and “decided to make the call in hopes that it would pull our officers away from the house before she was discovered and arrested too.”
Both Denton and Collvins were arrested and booked into the Bi-State Jail. Denton was charged with criminal trespass and possession of a controlled substance while Collvins was charged with criminal trespass and communicating a false report.