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Suspected car thief jailed

Fort worth man also a suspect in vehicle burglaries

From the Parker County Sheriff’s Dept.

Parker County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man Tuesday following a stolen vehicle/pursuit investigation in eastern Parker County.   

Parker County Sheriff Russ Authier said the incident began when a 2014 Jeep Cherokee was reported stolen in 300-Block of Aspen Court West in Aledo around 8 a.m. 

The victim’s spouse posted a photograph of the stolen vehicle on a social media neighborhood page.  

Several Aledo residents who had observed the Jeep in the area began commenting on the post. One witness saw the vehicle in 100-Block of Ranch Hand Lane off of south FM5 with the suspect in the driver’s seat and reported it to the Sheriff’s Office.  

When the suspect saw Sheriff’s deputies, he immediately fled the scene eastbound, driving recklessly through residential yards and damaging property on Ranch Meadow Court. The suspect abandoned the vehicle in the 200-Block of East Terrace Court and fled on foot and was able to evade deputies.  

A Tip411 alert was distributed, advising citizens the sheriff’s office was looking for a suspect in the area and to contact authorities if the suspect was seen.   

The alert described the suspect as an unknown male wearing blue jeans, a blue zipper, hooded jacket, white tennis shoes, and having a foreign accent.   

As a precautionary measure, Stuard Elementary School was temporarily placed on “secure mode,” due to the school being located about three miles away from the incident.  

As sheriff’s deputies were canvassing the area, they responded to a prowler call in the 1000-Block of South FM 5, advising an individual matching the suspect’s description was seen peering through the window of a residence and was last seen running south toward FM 5. Sheriff’s deputies located the suspect hiding behind a vehicle parked at a residence near the entrance of the housing addition. The suspect fled east on foot from deputies, jumping four fences and into a coastal field in the 900-Block of South FM 5 where he was apprehended. He was booked into the Parker County Jail and identified as Johnny Preston Smith III, 37, of Fort Worth.  

Smith was arrested on charges of felony theft, felony evading with a vehicle, felony evading (on foot) with a previous conviction, misdemeanor criminal mischief and an outstanding warrant for burglary of a habitation issued out of Fort Worth.  

As of Wednesday, he remained in custody at the Parker County Jail. His bond has not been set.   

Parker and Tarrant County investigators were able to link Smith to several vehicle burglaries in Tarrant County. An additional stolen vehicle from Tarrant County was recovered on Aspen Court West. It is believed Smith stole that vehicle and abandoned it before stealing the Jeep Cherokee. 

Sheriff Authier said the case is ongoing and additional charges are pending.  

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