HARKER HEIGHTS — Two men were arrested early Thursday morning after leading Harker Heights police on a high-speed chase that covered 22 miles and ended in a field in Little River-Academy east of Temple.
Officers observed the men standing near a pickup truck parked on the north side of Walmart near the auto center around 2:25 a.m. Thursday, according to a news release from Harker Heights Police Department spokesman Sgt. Roosevelt Wilson. The officers attempted to make contact, but the men got into the vehicle and fled with police pursuing.
The pickup, traveling at speeds of 40 to 80 miles per hour, failed to stop at numerous stop signs and traffic signals as it headed east on Central Texas Expressway, an arrest affidavit stated. While in pursuit, officers observed the pickup’s passenger door opening several times. Eventually, the passenger, later identified as Bradley Jason Truesdale, 28, jumped from the moving vehicle and landed on some grass when the truck ran off the road and into a field in Little River-Academy.
Officers found “layers” of vehicle batteries in the bed of the pickup, the affidavit stated. The driver, identified as George Joel Weldon, 30, told officers he had stolen the batteries, according to the report. An officer investigating the Walmart crime scene in Harker Heights said the gate to the fence surrounding the store’s batteries looked like it was pried open.
Police arrested and charged Weldon and Truesdale with evading police with a motor vehicle and burglary of a building by force, Wilson said.
Weldon was arraigned Thursday on both charges and his bail set at $100,000. As of Friday, Truesdale had not been arraigned.
No injuries were reported in the incident and all stolen property was recovered, Wilson said.