Police: Good Samaritans help chase down suspected thieves

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - A group of concerned citizens sprang into action to help a pair of off-duty Houston police officers who were trying to stop a car seen driving dangerously through parts of Northwest Harris County Sunday afternoon.

"In Harris County, you see crime every day and it's time for people to start stepping up and doing more," said retired volunteer firefighter, Robert Neinist.

Neinist said he saw a car rear-end a pickup truck and then speed away with the hood up and covering most of the windshield. Neinist said he then pursued what he thought was a hit-and-run driver.

"The black car sped away with its hood over the windshield, spewing steam and smoke and everything else," said Neinist. "They were also endangering other people going down 2920. People were getting out of their way, like I said, the hood was up and the guy was looking through (a small part of the) windshield trying to drive."

Neinist said two off-duty HPD officers were also pursuing the driver, along with several more civilians. The chase wound its way through traffic when Neinist said he saw the driver of the car eventually stop, jump out and run through a field near the area of Stuebner Airline and Louetta.

"I drove across the field. HPD and another gentleman were chasing after him. HPD yelled at him to stop," said Neinist. "(I) heard the HPD officer yelling for someone to help him, because he caught the suspect hiding behind a fence in the trees."

Neinist said the other off-duty officer and civilians helped stop a woman who was also in the car.

Sheriff's deputies then arrived and said the pair was trying to make such a dangerous getaway because they're believed to have robbed an HEB and Radio Shack in the area. Deputies were seen taking several items out of the car.

"War on Crime we got to start going after the people and people have to get involved," said Neinist.

Three people were arrested. Sheriff's officials have not yet released their names or what charges may be filed against the individuals.

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