The high-pitched squeal of the forlorn Mitsubishi signaled the end of a long but unsuccessful flight from the law. "Let me start from the beginning," said DPS trooper John Gonzalez.
The beginning is at a cd rack at the Travel Center in New Deal. Around 10:15 a man grabbed a stack and tried to leave without paying. "And as he was going out the door he dropped it," said Melissa Boyd. She's the manager, who at the time, happened to be... "I was in the back talking to the chief of police. He was in plain clothes and parked out back," she smiled.
The pursuit was on. Down I-27 to Lubbock where the thief and his passenger caught a break, losing the cops for about two hours, but then..."At 12:34 a trooper recognized the car and another pursuit instilled," said Gonzalez.
Twenty minutes later the Mitsubishi was crying for mercy, the driver was on a stretcher, and the passenger was in handcuffs. The suspects had run a red light, smashing into a Michelin truck whose engine caught fire. Luckily, the driver was uninjured.
A criminal odyssey doomed from the get-go. "That's just bad luck robbing a store with the chief of police there," said a reporter. "Yes!" exclaimed Boyd.