Carjacking Task Force targeting violent crime in Southeast Texas

Published 12:36 am Saturday, April 20, 2024

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During the evening of Oct. 6, a vehicle was taken at gunpoint in Port Arthur.

At approximately 12:38 a.m. the next day, a Vidor Police Department officer patrolling eastbound Interstate 10 observed the same vehicle pass in excess of 120 mph.

The officer initiated a traffic stop, at which time the vehicle attempted to evade the officer and fled at a high rate of speed into Louisiana.

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The vehicle exited at Mile Marker 4 in Calcasieu Parish before crashing when the vehicle failed to negotiate a T- intersection at Toomey and Broussard Road.

“The suspects fled the vehicle while firing their weapon at the pursuing officer,” Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll said. “The Officer returned fire at the suspects. No one was hit during the exchange of gunfire.”

A perimeter was set up by Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Vinton Police Department, Louisiana State Patrol, Vidor Police and Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

At approximately 9:35 a.m., several suspects were detained by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office when they attempted to leave the area in a relative’s vehicle.

Three people were arrested ranging in ages from 17 to 43.

“These individuals are suspects in a series of robberies and car jackings in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana,” Carroll said at the time. “The investigation is on-going and additional charges are expected. The Vidor Police Department would like to thank all agencies that were involved in stopping these dangerous criminals.”

Examples of similar violent crimes that ensnare the entire region and put countless local residents in harm’s way have caught the attention of the federal government, leading to the formation of a carjacking task force targeting violent crime in Southeast Texas and beyond. 


“The Justice Department has no higher priority than keeping our communities safe. We do so by targeting the most significant drivers of violent crime and by acting as a force multiplier for our state and local law enforcement partners. We’re seeing results — with violent crime declining broadly nationwide,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

“Today, we are launching seven new carjacking task forces across the country to build on the success of task forces in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Tampa, where available data shows that carjacking rates are now falling.”

One of those task forces announced Thursday is the Eastern District of Texas, which includes Port Arthur and Mid County.

“When prosecutors, officers, agents and analysts come together to crunch data, share intelligence, and apply best practices, we can make real progress in the fight against all forms of violent crime, including carjacking,” Monaco said.

The newly formed task force in the Eastern District of Texas is led by Deputy Chief of Violent Crime John B. Ross, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), alongside state and local law enforcement partners, including the Beaumont and Port Arthur police departments.

These task force members will come together to institute expedited sharing and prompt action procedures related to car thefts, carjackings, and the recovery of stolen or suspect vehicles — as well as effective evidence gathering and technology

exploitation strategies.

The task forces will also collaborate on how to use federal sentencing enhancements for cases where adults use juveniles to commit carjackings, as well as work with state and local authorities to ensure the appropriate handling of juvenile suspects.

The task forces will also assist state and local officials who wish to seek Justice Department grant funding for juvenile intervention and diversion resources.