SAN ANTONIO – A man is in custody after he stole two vehicles and led sheriff’s deputies and police officers on a “slow-speed” chase near Boerne, authorities said.
Refugio Jose Vasquez, 24, was arrested about 9 a.m. Monday outside a home in the 100 block of Second Street in Boerne.
According to Bexar County sheriff’s Capt. Martin Molina, Vasquez put up a struggle as he was taken into custody.
His arrest marked the end of a string of crimes in Boerne and northwest Bexar County that began with a stolen pickup in the 9600 block of Dewberry Path, Molina said.
"Some complainant reported that someone stole his vehicle. He had left his keys in his vehicle,” Molina said.
While deputies were investigating that theft, Molina said they received word about a second stolen vehicle, a front-end loader taken from a construction site near Interstate 10 and Ralph Fair Road.
"The information we got was that the driver that stole the front-end loader had a machete and had threatened a construction worker and took off,” he said.
Within minutes, deputies spotted the suspect on the access road of I-10, headed toward Boerne. Molina said the man also threatened deputies with the machete at one point.
About a half-dozen other agencies joined Bexar County deputies in a “slow-speed” chase, with speeds topping out at about 20 mph, he said.
"It's not fast at all, but when you have heavy equipment like this, it's really difficult to set up a plan to stop it because we can't block him with our vehicles. We can't deploy spikes because of the tires,” Molina said.
Investigators said the man also put other drivers in danger because he was ignoring traffic signals.
"We're glad no one got hurt. It was heavy traffic in the morning on the interstate,” Molina said. “We're lucky enough he stayed on the service road."
The home where the chase ended belongs to the suspect’s mother, Molina said. Deputies initially detained her but did not pursue any charges against her, he said.
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