Arm of the law#039; stretches to Texas

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 30, 2000

A Greenville man who has been on the lam since reportedly stealing a pickup truck in Sept. has been brought back to Butler County from the Lone Star State.

"Starting back on Sept. 9, 2000, a victim reported that her 1994 Ford Ranger Truck had been stolen, and she reported Brian Chrzastek, age 31 of Route 4, Greenville as the suspect," said Chief Deputy Kenny Harden of the Butler County Sheriff's Office. "We entered both the vehicle and Chrzastek into the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) databases as wanted."

Harden said the Sheriff's Department received numerous phone calls from various locations in Texas, regarding the suspect's whereabouts. "When we contacted authorities in one city in Texas, they sent officers to attempt to make contact with him (Chrzastek), they found that he had moved from that location, to Gatesville, Texas," Harden said.

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The trail was never allowed to get cold, however, and reports of Chrzastek's whereabouts kept coming in to the department.

"Authorities in Gatesville picked him up during the first week of December, then

Sgt. Joe Salter and myself went to Texas and arrested Chrzastek on warrants charging theft of property, first degree for the stolen truck, and also charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument," Harden said. "We brought him back and booked him into the Butler County Jail."

Once Chrzastek was back in Greenville, the wheels of justice picked up speed. "Our investigative division had developing cases on Chrzastek for unlawful possession of forged instruments," said Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram. "When Chief Harden notified our department that he was in custody, we served our warrants on him."

And serve they didGreenville officers executed 12 warrants on Chrzastek, for 12 separate counts of unlawful possession of a forged instrument-nearly $1,600 worth of checks that Chrzastek had allegedly passed.

"The instruments were all blank payroll checks that had been reported stolen from two businesses here, Greenville Products and Greenville Contracting Co.," said a spokesman with GPD's investigative division. "He has allegedly passed those checks at Winn-Dixie, Super Foods, Piggly Wiggly, and L & P Amoco, in the City of Greenville-charges are also pending for the theft of those checks."

"I am certainly glad that Chrzastek is back from Texas, so that we can bring him to justice" said Chief Ingram. "Every day he is on the streets, he is costing the business people of this community money-I'm glad we could serve our warrants on him."

Records Friday evening indicated that Chrzastek is still in custody, being held on $80,000 bond.