Arrest made in vehicle theft
By Sonya Timpone
The Cuero Record
A four month long investigation between several law inforcement agencies led investigators to Yoakum where they arrested a man after a stolen vehicle was found on his property.
On Feb. 15, a 2012 Dodge 3500 Crew Cab and an attached 10-foot trailer were reported stolen by the owner out of Tomball to the Houston Police Department. The estimated value of the truck is $35,000 and the trailer value was esitmated at $10,000.
On Feb. 14, the truck was observed heading south, leaving Fort Bend County.
Through leads during the investigation, law enforcement located the stolen truck on property located in the 2300 block of Hickey Road in Yoakum.
A search warrant was executed of the property on May 19 and Dennis Janssen, 45, of Yoakum was arrested and booked into the DeWitt County Jail for Theft, Possession of Stolen Property, and Tampering with Physical Evidence, both charges carried a $20,000 bond.
Janssen was bonded out the following day according to jail records.
Approximately 46 VIN numbers were checked on the property with the 2012 Dodge truck being the only one that was reported stolen.
“The truck was found parked on Janssen’s property on Hickey Road in Yoakum with the motor, transmission, transfer case, wheels and bumpers removed. This is done when a vehicle is torn down to sell for parts,” DeWitt County Sheriff’s investigator Richard Ramirez said.
“The evidentiary search warrant was a result from knowing we had a known vehicle that had been stripped for parts and there were several other vehicles on the property,” said DeWitt County Sheriff Carl Bowen.
This was a complicated investigation and additional time was required to ensure all of the investigative leads were follwed, Bowen added.
“The investigation continued despite complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation was still a primary focus and ultimately the stolen vehicle was located,” Bowen said.
The theft of the truck is connected to an insurance fraud case through Houston PD.
The insurance claim of the stolen property is currently being investigated by the truck owner’s insurance company, according to law enforcement.
This is an on-going investigation and more charges may be pending through Houston PD.
The stolen trailer has yet to be recovered.
The DeWitt County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety Auto Theft division out of Victoria, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Yoakum Police Department, National Insurance Crime Bureau and Houston Police Department assisted in the investigation.