Man arrested after series of robberies leads to pursuit, crash, New Braunfels PD says

Police say the man also attempted to flee a hospital after a medical examination

New Braunfels Police Department arrested Thomas Stedham Woodard from New Braunfels
New Braunfels Police Department arrested Thomas Stedham Woodard from New Braunfels (Comal County Jail)

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – A man was arrested after a set of robberies led officers on a pursuit that ended in a crash and an attempt to flee a hospital, the New Braunfels Police Department said Tuesday.

Police say 21-year-old Thomas Stedham Woodard robbed a man in the parking lot of the H-E-B Plus located in the 2900 block of I-35 North in New Braunfels on Monday.

Woodard pointed a gun at the man, demanded his wallet and fled the scene, police said.

Officers said Woodard then attempted to rob another man just minutes later at the Courtyard Plaza Shopping Center located in the 100 block of I-35 South.

Woodard pointed the gun at the man and demanded his wallet, but the man refused, and Woodard drove away, police said.

Authorities say they located Woodard -- based on his description and the description of his car -- on the I-35 northbound frontage road approaching FM 306.

Woodard did not stop for police and turned onto FM 306, where a pursuit ensued, officers said.

Police said the pursuit ended when Woodard left the roadway on FM 306 near the Goodwin Lane exit, which caused the car to become airborne and crash.

The crash caused the car to be disabled, and police conducted a felony traffic stop and took Woodard into custody, officers say.

Authorities said they took Woodard to the Christus Santa Rosa Hospital after the crash to be medically cleared.

Woodard attempted to escape from police at the hospital by running toward the exterior doors but was stopped, police said.

Officers said he continued to resist arrest but was taken to the Comal County jail without further incident.

Detectives investigating the robberies said Woodard had attempted a third robbery about an hour before the first two at the Creekside Shopping Center in the 200 block of Creekside Way.

Investigators said Woodard also pointed a gun at a man and demanded his wallet, but the man refused to hand the wallet over.

Police said no one was injured in any of these incidents.

Woodard is charged with three counts of aggravated robbery, evading arrest in a vehicle, unlawfully carrying a weapon, escape from custody and resisting transport.

His bond is set at a combined $146,000, and he remains in custody.


About the Author:

Emily Martin is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.