Shots fired near PAPD officers as stolen dirt bikes recovered

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A tip led police in Port Arthur to the discovery of two brand new dirt bikes that were stolen after a truck crashed into Honda of Orange in Pinehurst.

The stolen bikes were reportedly stashed in a shed without the Port Arthur homeowner’s knowledge and while investigating the scene, shots rang out in what police believe was a bid to lure them from the scene and grab the bikes.

The crime that spanned two cities included the smash and grab of a Honda CRF450 and Honda CRF150 and a call to Pinehurst Police Department at about 3:45 a.m. June 17, Pinehurst Police Chief Fred Hanauer III said.

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Video showed at least two men using a truck to smash the front doors and leave with the two 2020 model dirt bikes priced at approximately $8,900 and $4,600.

Hanauer said police received tips and sent the information to Port Arthur police to check the area since it is in Port Arthur’s jurisdiction.

PAPD Det. Mike Hebert said they received a tip that the stolen motorcycles were in the 2200 block of Cedar at a home.

The reportee said she had seen an individual on a brand new dirt bike, but when police arrived the homeowner was not at the residence but her children were.

“They would call the homeowner back to her residence and she gave consent to search a shed at the back where they found both motorcycles in the shed,” Hebert said. “At the time they are retrieving the motorcycles five shots were fired in close proximity to where the officers were at.”

Hebert said two of the officers ran toward the gunshots while one officer stayed at the scene. Two individuals were seen running from an area close to where police were but they weren’t located.

Police believe the shots were fired in an attempt to lure officers away from the shed so the bikes could be retrieved.

The dirt bikes were processed by police and returned to the owner.

Several individuals on scene were identified and the information was turned over to the Pinehurst Police Department, Hebert said.

Hebert said no arrests were made, as there was not enough of a description to definitely say the individuals were the ones riding the motorcycles.

Hanauer gave thanks to those who helped.

“I want to say thanks to the public for their help in locating the bikes,” Hanauer said. “If it wasn’t for the public’s tips we wouldn’t know they were out riding, which led to Port Arthur recovering the property.”

If you have information on this or any other crime, call Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas at 409-833-TIPS. You won’t be asked your name and you may be eligible for a cash reward. You can also make an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smartphone.