Three accused oilfield thieves are now behind bars, as authorities continue to investigate their identity along with their alleged ring of organized crime.
According to Martin County officials the three arrests were made Tuesday, after a high speed chase through Martin County. It started after receiving a call about a burglary in progress on an oil lease and Sheriff Officials say at times the chase reached speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
“All the counties in the Permian Basin are all experiencing oilfield thefts, diesel thefts and copper thefts,” said Martin County Chief Deputy, Ernest Wakefield
3 suspected oilfield burglars are now behind bars, but Martin County Sheriff’s officials say they still aren't sure who the two men and one women are.
“So their fingerprints have been sent to DPS and the FBI to try to get them positively ID'd,” said Wakefield.
Chief Deputy Wakefield says an oilfield worker saw the 3 suspects stealing from an oil lease in central Martin County and immediately called 9-1-1. The Martin County Sherriff chased down the suspects until one of their tires blew out.
“So they were riding on the rims because the vehicle had just gave out,” said Wakefield.
Deputy Wakefield says that it's tough to crack oilfield thefts and anything left behind can get taken.
“Pipes, crude oil, if it’s in the oil field its subject to get stolen, ,” said Wakefield.
Oilfield thefts around the Permian Basin are common place, but Wakefield says he hopes with these 3 behind bars, the oilfield thefts will decrease.
“Their tire tracks are similar to some of the other tire tracks that have been found at other scenes,” said Wakefield.
Deputy Wakefield told us as of this afternoon, the two men will be charged with theft charges and the one woman will be charged with an evading charge.