Officers find disabled vet's stolen 'chuck wagon'

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A disabled veteran, whose chuck wagon was stolen by a theft ring, has his property back now.

Earlier in August, area law enforcement busted a major theft ring, arresting nine suspects. But Ron Tyndell was among many victims who thought he would never see his property again.

Ron Tyndell's chuck wagon, or "green machine" as he calls it, traveled a long way. It was sold at two auctions, then to a rancher in Cleburne, according to Smith County Constable Dennis Taylor.

"Some officers went to Cleburne yesterday and picked it up and brought it back this morning and it's in better shape than when it left," said Taylor.

That is because the last person who bought it just put new brakes in.

"I was starting to have to use the emergency brake to stop it...Monday being my birthday, this is the best birthday I've ever had," said Tyndell.

Constable Taylor says Johnny Moore and two others stole it right out of Tyndell's front yard, leaving the disabled veteran without access around his property.

"It's like my electric wheelchair in there, if after about four hours of walking in the morning, that's it, I've got to have it," said Tyndell.

But now out of about 100 thefts believed to be caused by this ring, one more case is solved, thanks to solid investigative work.

"That's what I like about law enforcement," said Constable Taylor. "You get people's property back and you see the excitement in him."

"It almost made me cry and I don't cry very often," said Tyndell. "I want to thank you for the big surprise, I mean it's a surprise that I will remember forever."

It is a happy ending, he'll always be grateful for.

"I feel like Roy Rogers riding off into the sunset," said Tyndell.

Tyndell says he will definitely keep his green machine locked up in the garage from now on.

Constable Taylor says they are still looking for Juan Carlos Gonzales believed to be part of the theft ring. If you have any information on his whereabouts, call authorities.

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