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TPWD News Release — Jan. 26, 2004

TPWD Game Warden Field Notes

The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

Boat Theft Ring Busted Up — A Guadalupe County Game Warden has investigated a case that involved the theft of five boats and the attempted theft of 14 other boats on Lake McQueeney. The warden recovered three stolen boats floating on the lake. That investigation led to other boats that had been damaged or vandalized. At 9 p.m. the same day, the warden received a call about a boat wreck on the lake. Within minutes he was at the scene. The search and immediate investigation revealed no boat operator, passengers or injuries. The following day other wardens assisted the first warden with the boat accident investigation. It appeared that someone had released the boat at full throttle from the shore with no one on board. It made a u-turn and returned back to shore, causing extensive damage to a boat dock and boat. Around noon, the warden was interviewed by a San Antonio TV station about the incident, and the news was aired at 6 p.m. With no suspects in the case, TPWD solicited the assistance of the viewing public and gave phone numbers where people could call with any information about the incident. Another stolen boat was recovered as well. By about 7 p.m., a call with information came in. With the assistance of the Guadalupe County S.O., three suspects were arrested by 8 p.m., and two other suspects were arrested later. A total of five suspects were arrested (one adult and four juveniles). To date, a total of 19 boats were reported stolen or damaged.

Enforcement of New Law in Motion — One set of game wardens held a work detail to enforce the new law (SB155), which prohibits vehicles in riverbeds and they focused on the Nueces and Frio Rivers. The Nueces and Frio Rivers are in Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Uvalde and Zavala counties. The wardens filed a total of 15 cases: five for operating a vehicle in a riverbed, two water safety violations, no life jackets, one for no fishing license, and seven hunting violations. They also incarcerated a violator for operating and possession of a stolen ATV.

Top Dog — Recently, a Palo Pinto County Game Warden and his drug detecting dog responded to a call for assistance by Department of Public Safety officers who had an 18-wheeler stopped on Interstate 20. Upon arrival, the warden found that DPS had placed a suspicious bag on the ground for investigation. The warden parked his vehicle about 30 feet from the truck and let the dog out of his kennel. The dog went straight for the bag. It took some time to count, but money found inside it ended up totaling $570,230. The driver admitted it was drug money. Charges are pending.

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