Bellaire police were perusing the area surrounding Lamar High School Tuesday morning, searching for a red Jeep they believe was stolen by Lamar students, when sure enough, they spotted the Jeep.
Five young people were inside the car, and when they saw police were on their tail, they started speeding away, ultimately deciding to hop out and flee on foot. Two juveniles were caught, while three more darted right into the high school.
Manned by Houston ISD's own police, full of surveillance cameras and teeming with authority figures of all kind, a high school would — at least you would think — be an ill-advised place to flee police. Around 11:20 a.m., according to HISD spokesman Tracy Clemons, the school was placed on lockdown, which further worked against the teens running from the cops.
But, as it turns out, they got away and could not even be detected by the K-9 unit Clemons said police brought inside the school to search for them, while teachers continued with lesson plans in their classrooms. The lockdown lasted about 30 minutes, until the school was deemed safe by police, Clemons said.
"We're not sure if these students just kind of blended back into the student body, since they were students, or ran off on foot — that's unclear," Clemons said. "But what we do know is that the student body was safe, the lockdown was lifted and everything's good."
Clemons later clarified that Lamar High School is not confirming whether those who were caught by police are Lamar students; the three people who ran inside the school also haven't been identified, said Bellaire Assistant Police Chief Michael Leal.
Leal said the investigation was launched after Bellaire residents reported a string of car burglaries over the weekend. Burglars had stolen everything from loose change to a gun in the glovebox to electronics — and they also found the keys to one vehicle, the red Jeep, and took that vehicle, too, Leal said.
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The assistant chief said surveillance video led police to believe that Lamar High School students were involved. Leal said police arrested and charged two juveniles on Monday connected to the burglaries, in addition to the two juveniles caught fleeing on foot earlier Tuesday from the reported stolen Jeep.
Leal said that police decided to discontinue the investigation at Lamar High School for the safety of the school.
"Due to the large number of students at the school, it wasn't worth taking any risks," he said. "We're just going to continue our investigation and we'll continue trying to look to those additional suspects. We'd rather take our time in getting them charged than trying to search for three students among two or three thousand other students."
Meanwhile, maybe they will be sitting in class on Wednesday (or maybe they don't even attend the school).