Police persistence pays off with arrest of suspected car thief after multiple attempts

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After several arrest attempts and chases, deputies finally brought in a suspected car thief and parts stripper.

Justin Heard was booked into jail Tuesday, December 21, after another chase.

Deputies had made several attempts to arrest Heard on several outstanding warrants, but they said he always managed to escape.

On Tuesday, they got information he was at a home on Kenesaw. This time they said he was not in his Mustang or on a stolen motorcycle.

Deputies approached the house on foot and said Heard was with two other men in the alley, and when he saw them, he took off running and hopping over fences.

A deputy said as Heard began running south on Santa Fe, he lost his footing and fell, and the deputy put him into handcuffs.

Deputies found a black and gray motorcycle in a shed at the house on Kenesaw confirmed to be stolen, and they said its license plate had been switched. A witness said Heard drove the motorcycle there and had brought others there to work on them and had motorcycle parts in the garage.

Previous attempts to arrest Heard for numerous warrants include on August 16, when two patrol officers were staked out at night on Iowa Park Road watching his house on Harris Lane.

The officers said Heard arrived on a motorcycle with all the lights off, despite it being very dark.

They pulled out onto Harris to stop him and said he sped off and pulled into his yard and jumped off and ran inside his house. They said he likely then ran out the back door to escape as he had in the past.

Four days earlier, officers had made another arrest attempt when they spotted Heard’s 1995 gray Mustang on Iowa Park Road.

They initiated a traffic stop and said he pulled into the Valero station at 2400 Iowa Park Road.

As an officer approached him, he said Heard smiled at him, and the officer thought this meant Heard was about to flee, so the officer told him “Don’t do it!”, but Heard sped away, and another pursuit began.

They said he went down Iowa Park Road at a very high rate of speed until turning onto Harris Lane and pulling into his front yard and running into his house.

Two weeks before that, police responded to a stolen red Mustang that was found stripped of all parts and dumped at the old Hawk Ridge Golf Course.

They found security video from a store that showed the Mustang being towed into the course bumper-to-bumper by a Ford Crown Victoria, and a witness reported seeing the Crown Vic and Mustang leaving from Heard’s house on Harris Lane earlier.

Police drove by the house and said they saw a gray Mustang in the driveway being worked on by Heard, and there was a Crown Vic in the driveway with bumper damage.

They obtained a search warrant and said they found all the parts taken off the stolen Red Mustang, but Heard was not there.

A witness told officers he had seen the stolen red Mustang there about a week earlier and that Heard had been working day and night taking parts off of it.

Heard’s arrest record shows 7 arrests for evading, 4 for theft, 1 for burglary and 4 for drug possession.

The evading police arrests date back to 2013, when police said they chased him on a stolen motorcycle, and it crashed on Loop 11. Officers said he was armed with a handgun.

In 2017, police were attempting to serve an arrest warrant for Heard at his house on Harris Lane and said when they woke him up in bed, he jumped out of a window and was chased and caught by officers.

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