Two charged in burglaries, thefts around county
At least two individuals are facing felony criminal charges after being connected to numerous burglaries and thefts in and around southern Milam County.
The suspects were residing on a property located near the Milam and Williamson County line in Thorndale when the Milam County Sheriff’s Office became aware of their connection to the crimes.
According to Sheriff Chris White, on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 4, Milam County Crimestoppers received an anonymous tip indicating that a female was driving a stolen vehicle in Thorndale.
White said Thorndale Police were able to locate the vehicle and confirm that it was a truck taken in a theft reported the week before from a location south of Thorndale. The driver, Jennifer Blye, 34, was detained until deputies arrived a short time after the initial stop.
Blye was also found to have a pistol in the stolen truck that was not a part of the theft case. She was subsequently charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and unlawfully carrying a weapon.
White said sheriff’s deputies continued to follow up on the information and facts that were discovered from the arrest which led them to a location in the 100 block of Cowan Street in Thorndale. Sgt. Ferguson and Deputy Paniagua noted that there was a four-wheeler in plain view that matched the description of one stolen from a separate theft case Milam County had worked a few weeks prior.
CID Lt. Mendoza was notified of the additional information and facts, which allowed him to prepare a search warrant which was signed by 20th District Judge John Youngblood.
White and deputies, along with DPS Trooper Michael Tice, and State Game Warden Derek Rennspies searched the property on Cowan and located numerous pieces of equipment and vehicles that had been reported stolen in Williamson County and southern Milam County.
Among the stolen items recovered were, a Gooseneck 20-foot tandem axle heavy-duty trailer, two tandem axle flat-bed trailers, and one Goose-neck dump trailer. Also located were a travel-trailer, a Bobcat skid-steer, several skid-steer attachments, welders, a zero turn mower, two side-by-side four wheeler vehicles, and numerous power tools.
White said that from 9:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. deputies searched through dilapidated buildings and the entire wooded property trying to locate guns, coins, and other property still missing from additional thefts and burglaries now connected to the suspects.
White commends his deputies for their diligence and tenacity to go the extra mile to leave no stone un-turned in order to recover as much property as possible for the victims of Milam and Williamson County.
The male subject who had fled the property prior to arrival of Milam County deputies was identified as Chad Bankston, 43.
White is asking that if anyone has had any dealings with the suspects, Chad Lee Bankston or Jennifer Adele Blye to contact his office.
“We were contacted by some good people on Tuesday who had purchased a four-wheeler from Mr. Bankston,” he said. “Their concern was justified when it was discovered that the four-wheeler had been stolen out of Williamson County. The actions on their part absolutely helped to keep them from going through any future legal troubles which would have been the case if they had been found later in possession of the stolen four-wheeler.”
White would also ask that if you have purchased or are storing any property or equipment for the pair call the Milam County Sheriff’s Office or Milam County Crimestoppers, so that equipment and property still missing can be recovered.