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Woman helps police in a four hour manhunt in Orange
ORANGE-By: Leslie Rangel
Officers used a helicopter, horses, even an air-boat to track auto thieves into a bayou and marsh.
But, it was the company On-Star that alerted investigators to a couple of new Camaros stolen in Lafayette.
They were parked at a gas station off I-10 and Simmons Drive in Orange.
Police quickly arrested 20-year-old Daron Davis of Lafayette.
The two other men, 20-year-old John Malbrough of Lafayette and 20-year-old Cleon Green of Broussard, Louisiana ran into the swamp.
Law enforcement officers went after them with help from an airboat company.
The search began on the westbound frontage road of I-10.
Police from Orange and Lake Charles and officers from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice used K9's to go after the men accused of stealing two cars in Louisiana.
"I actually walked outside to the shop to check on some of my guys and looked through the shop and i saw some police officers running," Sallie Haynes, who lives and works nearby says.
Sallie Haynes says the chase unfolded on the back steps of American Airboat Company, she's the general manager.
"I touched base with one of the officers to ask if our home was ok and that part was fine, they said they'd let me know when they apprehended the criminals," Haynes says.
The two suspects ran past her property, through a marsh, under a bridge to the other side of the highway; that's when Haynes says she became a part of the action.
"It wasn't until about half and hour later they came to the door and said hey we need an air-boat now, let's go," Haynes describes.
While Haynes made her way to the swamp with officers, the search continued from the highway.
Officers searched for hours on horses, released more than a dozen hounds and even landed a helicopter on I-10.
While officers on land locked their eyes on the swamp, the officers on boats searched the waters.
"I had a boat load of officers and going through that swamp we went up and over cypress knees, we were no our side several times, where I just had to floor it to go up and over those trees," Haynes said.
Hour after hour until four hours went by the men finally gave up and surrendered to the sheriff and police.
"We got as close as what we could and basically we bailed out, went out in the swamp and got them, and brought them back, they were pretty tired, they didn't really fight, they gave up pretty easy," Sheriff Keith Merrit says.
It was an easy ending to a manhunt officers say is like something out of a movie.
"I usually don't talk a whole lot about work, but they're going to ask about this," Merrit says.
Police in Orange are working with officers from Lafayette to learn where the men were going with the stolen cars.