Smith County officials make an arrest in lawn equipment theft ri - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Smith County officials make an arrest in lawn equipment theft ring

John Kincheloe (Source: Smith County Sheriff) John Kincheloe (Source: Smith County Sheriff)

Smith County officials say it's a theft ring that has being going on for the past several months.

John Kincheloe is one of several people investigators believe stole more than a $100,000 worth of lawn equipment.

Kincheloe was arrested previously, in August of last year, when he and his wife Jacqueline Kincheloe allegedly stole $30,000 worth of lawn equipment from a Tyler neighborhood.

Kincheloe's most recent arrest was made after the county received a string of burglary phone calls from New Harmony residents on Christmas Eve.

"My officer was taking a burglary report, and as I was leaving I found another land owner that had been out there and burglarized," said Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith.

All calls indicated that property such as chain saws, ATVs, and even firearms had been stolen.

Deputy Jacob Hart was one of the deputies who responded that night, and pulled Kincheloe and his wife over in a white truck which was pulling a stolen trailer and lawn mower.

That's when Hart says Kincheloe took off on foot to evade arrest.

"He turned into a pasture near by, did a circle out in the pasture, and came back out towards FM 2661," said Hart. "He then ran out in front of a car and intentionally jumped in front of the car and was struck by the vehicle."

The sheriff's office arrested Cody Jones last Sunday on a separate unrelated drug possession charge, but he will now face additional charges of theft and burglary in relation to this theft ring.

Joel Hutson was one of the many victims from this theft ring, and wasn't home at the time when thousands of dollars worth of equipment was stolen from his property.

"I received a call from a neighbor saying that my horses were out. I got to my house real quick and I saw Sheriff Smith was there with a deputy," said Hutson.

While Hutson is fortunate enough to have had his belongings returned, many items are still left without their rightful owners.

The sheriff's office says they have identified other suspects in the theft ring.

John Kincheloe is currently in jail on a $155,000 bond.

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