Smith County authorities want to speak with owners of vehicles possibly damaged by caltrops

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 2:54 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Law enforcement in Smith County now say they would like to speak to owners of vehicles who have had flat tires near areas where caltrops were recently discovered along Interstate 20.

Larry Christian, a Smith County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said as many as 24 caltrops were reported on Aug. 7 in the eastbound lanes of I-20. Caltrops were also found on July 21 on I-20 near the Hideaway Exit, and prior to that, they were discovered in Van at I-20 and the FM 314 exit.

Smith County Precinct 5 Constable Jeff McClenny said investigators have a good idea of how many vehicles were damaged by the caltrops, but they suspect there could be many more.

McClenny said if you have had a tire damaged by rebar, or if your tire appeared torn rather than punctured, it’s a good indication that it was damaged by a caltrop.

A caltrop is a device with four metal points arranged so when any three are on the ground, the fourth projects upward as a hazard to horses' hooves or tires. McClenny added that the caltrops would’ve looked like tire tread or possibly blended in with the roadway.

If you believe your tires were flattened by caltrops, or if you witnessed these devices being scattered or have information about the individual(s) manufacturing them, you’re asked to contact the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-566-6600. If outside of Smith County, please contact your local law enforcement agency.

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