Burglary suspect arrested after taking off in East Texas deputy’s car

Burglary suspect arrested after taking off in East Texas deputy’s car
Matthew Thomas Bennett, 37 (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office)

SHELBY COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) — A burglary suspect who took off in an East Texas sheriff’s deputy’s unit the afternoon of Thursday, March 25, was arrested and the vehicle was recovered later that night.

UPDATE: The suspect is unharmed and is in custody.

Posted by Shelby County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, March 25, 2021

Matthew Thomas Bennett, 37, of Beckville, was identified as the suspect of a reported home burglary and became combative when questioned.

The SCSO Communications Center confirmed Bennett to have an active warrant for his arrest. Deputies attempted to restrain Bennett and he was non-complaint with their requests. Bennett was tased by SCSO deputies, restrained with handcuffs behind his back and placed in the backseat of a patrol unit at about 4:15 p.m. Thursday.

The unit was parked behind a vacant residence on Farm-to-Market Road 699 about 6.5 miles north of Center, Texas, the sheriff explained.

While deputies were clearing the scene, Bennett somehow slipped out of the handcuffs, moved to the front seat, got behind the wheel of the deputy’s vehicle and fled the scene.

The SCSO is currently in negotation with a suspect stemming from an incident that occurred earlier this afternoon. A...

Posted by Shelby County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, March 25, 2021

ONSTAR was able to locate the unit on an oilfield location site off of FM 699 and all area law enforcement began searching for Bennett in that area.

Bennett inflicted severe damage to the unit and caused interruptions with ONSTAR being able to continue tracking the unit. After a lengthy search by law enforcement officials, ONSTAR was able to shut the unit down by enabling the remote ignition block feature installed on the unit.

The Texas DPS set up a perimeter around the property and began negotiations with Bennett through a radio installed in the unit. After unsuccessful attempts at negotiation, a DPS helicopter assisted local authorities’ efforts to apprehend Bennett, who also is wanted in Panola County on a warrant in connection with a break-in there, Windham said.

Image of stolen unit.
Image of stolen unit. (Source: SCSO)
Image of suspect being apprehended.
Image of suspect being apprehended. (Source: SCSO)

Bennett was taken into custody at 10:49 p.m., unharmed. He is currently housed in the Shelby County jail and has been charged with UUMV (SJF) $20K bond; evading arrest/detention w/vehicle (SJF) NO BOND; escape from custody (M-A) $10K bond; resisting arrest (M-A) $10K bond.

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