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A man arrested Sunday morning around 3:40 a.m. breaking into the Summer Palace restaurant was apparently committing crimes to pay for his journey to Austin to see a friend, according to investigators.
Vu Le, 32, of Bossier City, La., was released on $7,500 bond Monday morning. He was charged with burglary and evading arrest. He is the suspect in similar crimes in Athens and Malakoff, said Corsicana Police Chief Randy Bratton.
Vu was arrested after a resident driving past the restaurant at 2110 W. Seventh Ave., noticed a car parked in the rear and called 9-1-1.
Officer Allen Crawford arrived first and noticed the car, and saw the backdoor standing open. Officer Whitney Goulding, a rookie on the force, was heading west toward the restaurant when she saw a man dressed in black carrying something and running west down Seventh Avenue. Turning her car around, she tried to get him to stop, but she eventually got out of her car in the parking lot of El Pollo Regio, 2004 W. Seventh Ave., and chased him down on foot.
The suspect had dumped a change separator in a trash can while he ran, but that was recovered along with a bunch of coins.
“We think we interrupted him in his endeavors,” Bratton explained.
Vu was taken to jail, and officers seized his black BMW X5 was towed away and police are currently going through the forfeiture process to seize it for the department, Bratton said.
Inside the mini SUV officers found some money and tools that could be used in burglaries. The crow bar he used to pry open the back door of the Summer Palace was seized at the scene.
“In addition to apprehending him and seizing the additional property, we believe he intended to commit additional burglaries,” Bratton said. “He didn’t have any money and needed to get Austin, so was committing burglaries to pay for his travel.”
Bratton praised the responding officers, as well as detective Michael Dockery, who did the follow-up investigation. He also had high praise for the resident who called in the alert.
“Without the citizen’s call it’s distinctly possible we may not have been able to apprehend the suspect in the act,” he said.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at email@example.com. Want to “Soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com