by Emily Waldrep
Two Tyler County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of suspicious persons in an abandoned residence on December 18 near Warren. Witnesses stated they saw a white Chevrolet truck parked on the side of the road near the residence and saw flashlights inside the abandoned house.
Witnesses provided a license plate number from the suspicious vehicle, but the vehicle left before deputies arrived on the scene. After a short search, deputies found the vehicle fitting the description and made a traffic stop. According to law enforcement, the driver, identified as Justin Ford, age 21, of Spurger, and the passenger, Stephanie Shoemaker, age 20, of Woodville, both lied and stated they were riding around and had run out of gas. They also stated that they were first cousins, but Shoemaker was sitting next to Ford in the middle seat, which caused deputies to be suspicious.
There was also a third person involved, Ronnie Jenkins, age 19, of Woodville, located on County Road 3455.
All parties were questioned separately but their stories did not add up. Jenkins stated that he was related to someone who owned the residence that they had broken into and entered.
Deputies contacted the relative in question, who stated she wanted to press charges because she had not given anyone permission to enter the house.
Jenkins, Ford and Shoemaker were all arrested and charged with Criminal Trespass, and their vehicle was towed.