Authorities confirmed Saturday that they are still searching for a robbery suspect in the Lindale area.
Friday authorities suspended a door-to-door search for a robbery suspect in Lindale on Friday afternoon after they believe the man they were searching for was able to get out of the search perimeter.
Lindale police are looking for a man who hopped into a store manager's truck as he was about to make a bank drop. The man said the suspect tried to flag him down and when he didn't stop, the suspect jumped into his truck. The suspect then attempted to take the man's money bag, a struggle ensued, and the suspect displayed a gun before fleeing the scene with the deposit bag.
"The suspect ran off northbound on 849 and that's where our hunt for him started," Lt. David Craft with the Lindale Police Department said.
Friday DPS troopers were positioned at many intersections in the city. Alice Brown with Century 21 had come by a home on Springcrest Lane to take some property pictures, and thought twice about walking into the vacant mobile home.
"I had heard what was going on; I just had no idea it would be right here, so I thought I'd have him come check before I walked in the door and be safe," Brown said.
The suspect wasn't there. A few minutes later sleet began to fall.
The scanner squawked, "So was the helicopter heading in because of the weather?"
Lindale Police Chief Daniel Somes said, "The chopper had to go back in because of this weather. It's icing, so they had to head on back in. They'll look and see if we have to bring them back out. They'll assess their situation at that time and advise. They have been a huge help," Somes said.
As the sleet ended law enforcement changed their strategy.
"We're going to pull our guys off the perimeter. We're going to do a several block area house to house, knock on some doors, check and make sure that he hasn't contacted somebody or gone into somebody's house," Lt. David Craft revealed.
It wasn't long before they found an unlocked door, which prompted drawn weapons. Several officers called out but there was no answer. They entered the house,
"We have three officers in there," came from the police scanner.
A K-9 team checked the property. Soon officers exited the house finding nothing.
"We did a search. Everything's clear," could be heard from the scanner.
That was when officers realized the shoeless suspect had escaped their perimeter.
The suspect is described as a black male with short hair wearing a light-colored quilted jacket and dark pants. His shoes were found at the scene, so he is believed to be barefoot.
He was last seen headed northbound on Farm to Market Road 849. K9 units and a helicopter were brought in to search for the man. The helicopter was forced to abandon the search shortly after noon when the sleet began falling.
Lindale ISD Superintendent Stan Surratt says the schools were on a soft lockdown as a precaution after school officials received information about the manhunt. School doors were closed and no one was allowed in or out of campus buildings, although students went about their normal activities inside. The soft lockdown ended at 2 p.m. and pick-up schedules and procedures for parents will be normal. There will be an increased law enforcement presence in the area.
The manager, who works at a Kidd-Jones convenience store in Lindale, was treated by EMS at the scene and received six stitches, but was not taken to the hospital.
We will continue to follow the story and will provide additional details as they become available.