JACKSONVILLE — Thursday: 8 a.m.
A man sought by authorities for allegedly robbing at least three local convenience stores this past month was located and captured without incident early Thursday morning.
Kendall Deshun Lucas, who turns 26 today, was taken into custody at a southeast Jacksonville apartment complex shortly after midnight Thursday, reports show.
In an email dispersed to media about 1:30 a.m. Jacksonville Police Det. Greg Compton said officers, Cherokee County Sheriff's deputies and agents from the Tyler F.B.I. office surrounded the complex, allowing officers to enter the apartment, pinpoint Lucas' location, and apprehend him.
The suspect had evaded authorities Tuesday in a daring foot chase that lasted hours and involved a police helicopter and tracking dogs. But early Thursday he offered no resistance to capture, police said.
"Lucas will be arraigned later today," Compton wrote.
A man believed to be responsible for a series of local convenience store robberies dodged police capture for hours Tuesday night, remaining at large Wednesday following a dramatic foot chase in the Loop 456 and Highway 79 area.
Kendall Deshun Lucas, who turns 26 today, evaded a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter and Texas Department of Criminal Justice tracking dogs in addition to authorities before ducking into the wood line one final time about 10 p.m. Tuesday.
The Jacksonville Police, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department, and the FBI were in dogged pursuit the entire time, but the suspect expertly navigated his way in and out of those woods.
"We initially located him, but lost sight and then he got away from us," Jacksonville Police Det. Greg Compton said. "It was thick and we were losing daylight."
Lucas is currently believed to be hiding in the Jacksonville area. Authorities are urging area residents to stay cautious and immediately report any sightings.
He has ties to family and to the Bloods street gang here, Compton said. Today is his 26 birthday, according to his Texas driver's license.
Authorities believe Lucas committed masked, armed robberies of CJ's Quick Stop, 613 E, Rusk on Oct. 14 and J&J Food on Oct. 22 and Oct. 23.
The east Jacksonville location where Lucas was found Tuesday was not his home, according to police. Once Lucas was discovered, police, sheriff's deputies and FBI set up a perimeter only to be discovered by the the suspect, who fled.
"We chased him across Loop 456 into the wood line behind the Old Travis clinic, across the loop from the fire station," Compton said.
Police contacted the Texas DPS in Longview and a helicopter was dispatched to help with the search. Authorities also contacted the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and tracking dogs were dispatched to help with the ground chase.
The helicopter proved to be unable to pinpoint Lucas. The dogs followed him a long while, authorities said.
"We lost him in the wooded area behind the old Travis clinic, that big block of woods that goes down into another neighborhood," Compton said. "He went quite a ways before the dogs lost him."
Right now, authorities have a few active warrants for Lucas, including one for absconding on his parole and another – misdemeanor – warrant for hindering a secured creditor, according to records.
Police said they were able to connect Lucas with the robberies after area residents identified him from photo stills of the robberies and from details gleaned from Jacksonville police press releases.
"Together it created quite a bit of information," Compton said. "We were able to pull that information from different areas and connect the dots, positively linking him to the three robberies."
During at least one of the October robberies, the perpetrator's image was caught on videotape, Jacksonville Police Det. James Oden has said. During all the crimes, he was armed with a semiautomatic handgun and fled the scene of the crime on foot, reports show.
Kendall Deshun Lucas' drivers license and conviction records list him as 5 feet 6 inches, between 180 and 185 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. He has various tattoos and a mole on his right cheek.
His parole violation stems from his conviction for burglary of a habitation , a second degree felony, in June 2005. He was sentenced to four years of probation for the Jacksonville crime.
Anyone with any information about the suspect can contact Compton at 903-586-2546 or the PD's Investigations Unit (from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) at (903) 586-8336.
Anyone with any information about the suspect is urged to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 903-592-4301, according to FBI Spokeswoman Katherine Chaumont.
"We are really encouraging people to call if they know his whereabouts," she said.
Cherokee County Crime Stoppers also is offering a cash reward for information that leads to capture and conviction in this case. Crime Stoppers can be reached at 866-586-7878.
“We feel confident he is in the Jacksonville area,” Compton said.