A 31-year-old Gilmer man charged with aggravated kidnapping and three other felonies remained in Upshur County Jail under bonds totalling $285,000 Friday after a van with a one-year-old boy strapped inside was stolen from a local service station Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The child was found apparently uninjured in a car seat on the side of a rural Upshur County road off of FM 49 west of Gilmer, and the suspect, Andrew Lowell Crane, was arrested by city police without incident at a rural home on South Live Oak Road, according to Gilmer Police Investigator Sgt. Roxanne Warren and Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd.
Crane was treated for self-inflicted injuries at East Texas Medical Center Gilmer before being taken to the nearby Upshur County Jail, authorities said.
Crane was charged with aggravated kidnapping, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, abandoning or endangering a child/imminent danger, and tampering with evidence, Byrd said.
The case began as a reported vehicle theft about mid-day Wednesday.
Sgt. Warren said city police were dispatched about the vehicle theft to a Texaco station on U.S. 271 South about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
About 25 minutes later, police were notified the child had been found on the roadside of FM 49, and the baby was later recovered, she said.
Byrd said Friday an adult passerby found the infant.
Soon afterward, the stolen vehicle was found abandoned on rural Limetree Road in Upshur County, Sgt. Warren said.
The Upshur County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers assisted city police, and “Information regarding Crane’s associates was obtained” before he was arrested, she reported.
Crane had “just shot up with a bunch of methamphetamine in the house he broke into, where he was arrested,” and also tried to cut his arm with a razor blade, Byrd said.
The suspect received stitches, and an injection to counter the effects of the methamphetamine, before being taken to jail, the district attorney added.
Byrd said Friday authorities were still sorting out details of the theft/kidnapping.
Upshur County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Lyle Potter set bonds on Crane on Thursday—Thanksgiving Day—at $150,000 on the aggravated kidnapping charge, $100,000 for the abandoning or endangering charge, $25,000 on the tampering allegation, and $10,000 on the unauthorized use of vehicle charge, Byrd said Friday.
“He (Crane) could certainly face additional charges once I review everything,” Byrd said.
Gilmer Assistant Police Chief T.J. Harris said Wednesday that the theft was apparently “a crime of opportunity.”
He said that the van’s driver, the owner of the Texaco station where the vehicle theft occurred, had pulled up to the door of the convenience store and was unloading supplies when a man jumped