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Citizens assist police in apprehending burglary suspect

TYLER, May 6, 2013--On May 3, at approximately 2:56 p.m., Tyler Police Dispatch received a phone call about a suspicious person in the area of Tenneha and Nutbush. The caller said he was watching a black male with long braids walking in the street carrying a window air conditioner. The caller suspected that this person was involved in criminal activity.

Upon arrival, several other people told Officers that this same subject had been observed knocking on doors and trying to open windows. One witness said that he had observed this subject enter the residence at 1909 Tenneha, by removing the air conditioner and then climbing in through the opening.

Officers went to the residence at 1909 Tenneha, and found the house had been forcibly entered, but no one was inside. Officers were then told by citizens that the suspect may have circled around in the woods back to 707 W Nutbush. Two Officers went to this residence which is divided into two apartments. Officers were not able to get anyone to answer the door but heard noise inside and believed that the suspect was hiding in this residence.

Officers then saw the suspect looking at them through the window. The suspect refused to come out and ran from the house before a perimeter could be secured around it. Several Officers and citizens pursued the suspect. One citizen attempted to tackle the suspect but was unable to stop him. The suspect ran into a heavily wooded area with Officers in pursuit.

Numerous other Officers moved into the area and began to form a perimeter. The suspect emerged from the woods and continued running but was taken into custody in the area of Bois D’arc and Martin Luther King.

The suspect was identified as Artavious Harris of Tyler. Harris was found to already have a warrant for his arrest from the Tyler Police Department for Burglary of a Habitation. While on scene, Harris confessed that he had unlawfully entered the residence at 1909 Tenneha, to burglarize it.

Harris was transported to the Smith County Jail and booked in for the arrest warrant charge of Burglary of a Habitation. In addition, Harris was charged on-sight for another count of Burglary of a Habitation, Evading Arrest, and Failure to Identify as a Fugitive. 

This arrest was an excellent example of concerned citizens working with the Tyler Police Department to make the city a safer place. The Tyler Police Department is grateful for the assistance that was received.

No one, including the suspect, was injured during this incident.


An arrest does not mean that the individual or individuals have been convicted of the alleged violation, unless otherwise noted. Individuals are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

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