Law enforcement captured three men after a police chase that began with a pharmacy theft in Hewitt.
The suspects were accused of busting a window and breaking into Lynn's Pharmacy located at 500 N. Hewitt Dr. in Hewitt Wednesday morning. Based on archived stories, thieves have struck the location several times before.
Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin said the burglary alarm went off at 2:26 a.m. Officers arrived and called the store owner, who showed up and allowed police to review the high-tech video surveillance system, which was installed as a result of previous thefts. Surveillance video allowed Hewitt Police to quickly identify the getaway vehicle and dispatch its description and descriptions of the suspects to other agencies, a local law enforcement official confirmed.
Around 4 a.m., a police sergeant at Texas State Technical College in Waco spotted the vehicle lingering at the edge of campus and started to approach, a police official said. But, the driver sped off, ending up on I-35 and eventually crashing in a ditch on Pecan Avenue in Lacy Lakeview, Devlin said.
Three suspects got out of the vehicle and ran. They were captured by Lacy Lakeview officers and the TSTC sergeant after a short foot chase, Devlin explained. Hewitt Police were called to the scene and positively identified the suspects.
The first two suspects were Andre Hamm, 31, and Murray Manning, 30, of Houston. The third was identified as Dwight Lavan, 26, of San Antonio, according to Devlin and Lacy Lakeview Police Chief John Truehitt.
A fourth suspect, who remained in the vehicle during the theft, was still at large Wednesday afternoon. Police said they were unsure if the fourth person was male or female, and they don't know when that suspect bailed out of the vehicle because the individual was not present during the vehicle chase.
Police transported the three other men to the McLennan County Jail.
The pharmacy owner said the suspects stole at least $5,000 worth of medicine.
Chief Devlin said investigators believe the theft might be part of a larger string of robberies.
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