October 29, 2011
Just before 9:30 p.m. on Friday, a white male wielding a shotgun robbed a convenience store in Splendora, displaying the weapon to the female cashier and a female customer and demanding all the money from the register. The cashier complied and when the bandit left, she and the customer called 9-1-1 and provided police with a description of his vehicle and his license plate.
At 9:27 p.m., Montgomery County dispatch aired a “robbery past” and an “attempt to locate” on the suspect vehicle to all Montgomery County law enforcement agencies. At 9:38 p.m., a Pct. 4 Deputy Constable spotted the suspect’s 1996 Ford Ranger pickup on US Hwy 59 southbound near Kingwood Drive and began to follow. The deputy activated his emergency equipment, but the truck did not stop. Eleven additional Pct. 4 units responded, including Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden.
The pursuit continued southbound on US Hwy 59 through Humble and into Houston. The suspect then took Loop 610 West to Loop 610 South and then exited onto Hempstead Highway westbound. Shortly thereafter, Pct. 4 deputies had an opportunity to safely use the PIT maneuver to stop the suspect. The pursuit lasted for about 20 minutes and a distance of around 25 miles.
The suspect was arrested without incident. Pct. 4 deputies transported him back to Montgomery County where they handed him over to Splendora Police who transported him the Montgomery County Jail in Conroe.
Zachary Lynn Mason, 30, of Needville is charged with Aggravated Robbery and Evading Arrest/Detention in a Vehicle. Additional felony charges may be filed in Harris County.
Constable Hayden said the pursuit was a particularly dangerous one.
“We were dealing with an armed suspect who was driving erratically, reaching speeds of over 100 miles per hour,” Hayden said. “Fortunately, it ended well – no one was injured, the suspect is in custody and the store owners have their money back.”
He also praised the store clerk and customer for their handling of the situation and their quick thinking in getting the vehicle’s license plate and a description for police.
“If it weren’t for the details they provided, the suspect would probably still be at large,” Constable Hayden said.
Pct. 4 later learned an “attempt to locate” had been aired on the same vehicle in Liberty County shortly before the robbery, after the suspect struck a vehicle in Cleveland and fled the scene.
Agencies assisting with the pursuit in Harris County included the Humble Police Department, Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety.