By Matthew Jackson
A Houston man was arrested last week and charged with burglary of a vehicle after allegedly siphoning gas from several vehicles at a local business.
On April 15 at approximately 5 a.m., Walker County Sheriff’s Deputies Eddy Lawson and Stephen Casper were dispatched to 8100 block of state Highway 75 in reference to a traffic hazard.
A caller, identified as an employee from Mitcham Industries, located at 8141 State Highway 75, advised the deputies that an apparently abandoned vehicle was parked in the southbound lane of the highway, causing a potential hazard to motorists.
When the deputies arrived on the scene, they were advised by Mitcham employees that a man had been seen walking around the building earlier that day, but had later disappeared and they were unsure of his purpose or his direction of travel.
After investigating the area, the deputies determined that three vehicles parked nearby had open gas caps, and that fuel had apparently been siphoned from them.
A short time later a second vehicle pulled up behind the abandoned vehicle on the highway, driven by a man identified as Floyd Tookes of Houston.
Tookes was questioned by the deputies and by Sgt. Brad Fullwood, who had arrived on scene to assist in the investigation.
After interviewing Tookes, it was determined that the abandoned vehicle belonged to him, and that he ran out of gas while traveling from Houston to Madisonville and was unable to locate a gas station.
Tookes admitted to Fullwood that he had siphoned fuel from the three vehicles in an attempt to refuel his own vehicle, but later realized that the vehicles were filled with diesel rather than gasoline, which he needed for his vehicle. He fled the scene a short time later and was returning to recover his vehicle.
After the interview Tookes was taken into custody and charged with three counts of burglary of a vehicle. He was transported to the Walker County Jail, where his bond was set at $1,000.