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Man escapes, recaptured by Lodi police

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Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2001 10:00 pm

Lodi police arrested a man Thursday who had escaped hours earlier from their custody.

Theoplis Crumbly III, 26, of Stockton, eluded officers for nearly three hours after he reportedly dove out an open window although officers had already placed his wrists in handcuffs behind his back.

Crumbly was originally arrested during a search of a residence in the area of South Central Avenue and Eden Street.

Detectives were on special assignment doing probation searches when Crumbly escaped and a foot pursuit began, said Lt. Chet Somera of the Lodi Police Department.

Police located the suspect the second time following a two-and-a-half-hour search of the neighborhood after a resident in the 300 block of Eden Street called with a sighting. The suspect was apprehended by officers in an alley off Eden Street.

Crumbly was charged with resisting arrest, petty theft, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He also has $250,000 worth of warrants out of Stockton, according to Lodi police.

The call that Crumbly had escaped police custody came in just before 4 p.m., sending all patrol officers to make a perimeter around the area of South Lodi Avenue and South Garfield Street between Cherokee Lane and East Washington Street.

Officers and at least one police dog scoured the area, cutting through alleys and going into backyards to search for Crumbly.

Witnesses claim they saw the man, described as wearing a gray shirt and sweat pants, cross Cherokee Lane near Kmart. But reports could not be confirmed by employees working in the area, according to police.

News cameras hovered above the neighborhood for most of the evening.

The pursuit sent officers to all corners of the neighborhood, the same area where a rash of shootings have occurred in the last six months.

Two weeks ago, police responded to three separate calls of shots fired on the same day. Only one person was injured.

One of the shootings was reported in the 300 block of South Washington Street and another at the intersection of Hillborn and South Washington streets.

Three arrests were made last week.

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