HEWITT (May 15, 2014) A Waco man was named in a range of indictments Wednesday charging him with crimes including robbery, theft and forgery.
The grand jury named Joshua Lewis McLearen, 28, in a four-count indictment charging theft of less than $1,500 with two or more prior convictions, another indictment charging robbery and evading arrest in a vehicle and yet another charging two counts of forgery.
The true bills relate to an incident in February during which phones were stolen from an AT&T store in Hewitt, an employee was shoved to the ground and the suspect led officers on a high-speed chase.
Surveillance video of the theft that was shown in television newscasts and posted online led to two late-night tips that resulted in McLearen’s arrest.
Officers went to the Ramada Inn in Hewitt where McLearen was staying, but police say he slipped out a rear door, got into his truck, and drove off.
Officers caught up with him as he entered the Lorena city limits on Interstate 35, but when they tried to pull him over, he drove across the shoulder and the access road and into an open field across where patrol cars couldn't continue the pursuit.
The truck was found abandoned a short time later in a cul-de-sac on Pilgrim Road, police said.
Officers surrounded the area and when McLearen appeared on a nearby road, McLennan County Sheriff deputies captured him, police said.
McLearen was on the Waco's Most Wanted list and was wanted for theft in Waco and on a forgery charge in Lacy Lakeview.
Officers recovered drugs, stolen items and one of the phones from the AT&T store after the arrest.
The theft happened shortly after 6 p.m. at the store at 909 Hewitt Dr.
The clerk caught a man with an iPad and several expensive phones in his hands, police said.
When she tried to grab the man's arms, he shoved her to the ground and ran out of the building, which turned a shoplifting incident into a robbery.
The employee was not seriously hurt.