A Jacksonville man who led police on a pursuit remained in the Cherokee County Jail Tuesday on burglary charges.
Detective Sgt. Daniel Franklin said Rachine Jones, 20, was arrested Sunday after police received a call about an unwanted person at a residence in the 800 block of Harrison St.
He said police responded and attempted to contact Jones, who was still on scene, but Jones ran away on foot.
An officer chased him for several city blocks, he said, and several other officers got involved in pursuing Jones, who was eventually found hiding in a vehicle.
Franklin said Jones was placed into custody, and police were able to link him with another burglary that had occurred the night before, along with a vehicle burglary.
He was charged with burglary of a vehicle, evading arrest and two counts of burglary of a habitation.
Initially, Jones’ offense was designated as being in a gang-free zone, but the offense “didn’t fit the element,” Franklin said.
Police Chief Reece Daniel said that after some research on gang-free zones, it was determined that the crime of burglary does not apply to a gang-free zone.
According to the Texas Penal Code, a gang-free zone is considered “in, on or within” 1,000 feet from “real property that is owned, rented or leased by a school or school board”; “premises owned, rented or leased by an institution of higher education”; “premises of a public or private youth center”; or “playground” and “in, on or within” 300 feet from a “shopping mall”; “movie theater”; “premises of a public swimming pool”; “premises of a video arcade facility”; or “on a school bus.”
Crimes that do not apply to gang-free zones are “burglary, theft, burglary of a motor vehicle or unauthorized use of a motor vehicle,” the penal code states.
Franklin said some criminal offenses are considered in a gang-free zone if they occur in certain areas, and the offender is associated with gang activity.
According to the penal code, punishment can potentially be enhanced for crimes in a gang-free zone if the offender is 17 or older, and the crime was committed in an area considered to be a gang-free zone.
Franklin said it’s hard to say how many gangs there are in Jacksonville, because people are involved in gang activity but indicate they are not a gang member.