Multi-County Theft Ring Expands, More Suspects Now Behind Bars

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Investigators arrested a third man last night in connection with a multi-county theft ring. Brazos County Sheriff's Deputies arrested 24-year-old Cory Middleton on Elmo Weedon Road after he ran from law enforcement.

The leads continue evolving; and from day one; authorities said it was only a matter of time when the suspects behind a theft ring spanning across 10 Texas Counties, including Brazos -- would be caught.

"You never know, when you least expect it, knock-knock, it will happen,” said Madison County Sheriff Travis Neeley.

“They got brave at the end and some of that bravery got them caught,” said Captain Blake Jarvis of the Grimes County Sheriff’s Department.

Cory Middleton of College Station was arrested after a pursuit by a number of law enforcement personnel, including a DPS helicopter just after 5 Monday evening. And according to Madison County Sheriff Travis Neeley, this isn't Middleton’s first pursuit.

This is dash cam footage of a high speed pursuit involving a Madison County Sheriff's Deputy. The suspect fled from the deputy -- down Lone Star Road in North Zulch just nine days ago. The deputy ended up crashing his patrol car on Lone Star Road in North Zulch. The suspect behind the wheel of the maroon pick-up, police say, was 24-year-old Cory Middleton. Middleton was allegedly towing a stolen trailer hauling more than $35,000 of stolen property. His identity has been a mystery up until now.

Investigators say Middleton, Aaron Keith Cannon and Jordan Davis Cook are accused of stealing then selling and trading ATV's, trailers, "suped-up" rangers, lawn equipment and many other items from at least 11 counties across the state.

The motive behind it all?

“To our knowledge so far, the motive is methamphetamines,” said Jarvis.

Monday night while Brazos County Sheriff's deputies, College Station Police, along with a helicopter from the Department of Public Safety tried searching for Middleton after he fled from a home -- Jarvis was recovering more stolen property in Crockett. After Middleton was arrested, Jarvis came back to College Station to question Middleton; then subsequently followed up on more leads near the south end of Grimes County, then Magnolia, and finally South Houston. He made it back to Grimes County at 7:30 a.m.

In the meantime, each suspect remains in jail indefinitely; which gives victim's like College Station native Abby Petroski -- hope -- that her 2012 Can Am Commander 1000 ATV will be returned.

This is very distinct,” said Abby Petroski. "There has been a ton of modifications done to it, I mean it's not just your run-of-the-mill ATV."

Abby Petroski, a College Station resident, says her 2012 Can Am Commander 1000 ATV was stolen from her driveway on Tuesday, Jan. 15. Petroski says she left the ATV locked to a trailer in her driveway, and the trailer was resting on a wood block.

Petroski is offering a cash reward if the 4-wheeler is returned in good condition. Anyone with information about the other ATV thefts is asked to call police.

Description of Petroski’s stolen ATV:
“Our Can Am Commander 1000 and trailer were both stolen from our driveway on Monday night/Tuesday morning, 1/15/2013 between the hours of 12:00am-8:00am. The ATV was on top of our flat-bed trailer which was locked with a trailer hitch lock. The ATV is colored Camouflage but was VERY muddy at the time. It has 29.5 Outlaw tires and now has rims that have an Orange circle around them called CrushLoks. There was a Black Yeti Coolers sticker on the back tailgate of the Commander as well as a Black ATM sticker. In the bed of the ATV, there was a red, portable gas can bolted down…it may or may not still be there. Underneath the tailgate is a distinct, silver stainless cover over the lower tailgate. The trailer is a home-made with black metal sides and a black toolbox in front near the hitch. The Texas license plate is 013710H and was located sideways on the driver’s side wheel. It is a double-axle trailer and the license plate glows VERY bright by two LED lights. PLEASE let us know if you have any information on the Commander and/or trailer or have seen it around town. It was stolen from our driveway in the Wolf Pen Creek area near Texas Avenue in College Station. We will REWARD anyone who finds our stolen property.”