Weatherford Democrat

August 15, 2011

Suspect in Wednesday manhunt arrested Friday

Christin Coyne

PARKER COUNTY — A man who authorities said fled from them Wednesday evening, prompting a manhunt, was arrested after he was found living in a stolen travel trailer and driving a stolen pickup Friday afternoon.

Billy Clay Wade, 47, was arrested on charges that included a felony criminal mischief warrant out of Fort Worth and a parole violation warrant, according to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office.

Wade was discovered by deputies Wednesday night living under an assumed name and living in a travel trailer in the 5900 block of Tin Top Road, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Weatherford-Parker County Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team members and U.S. Marshals attempted to arrest Wade, who fled in the stolen truck before driving it into a sand pit at the end of Montgomery Lane, according to the sheriff’s office.

He then fled on foot, prompting a manhunt in the area that lasted well after dark Wednesday evening and involved at least one helicopter, according to reports.

A woman reportedly living with Wade, Linda Jean Luker, 40, was arrested for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office.

While searching the travel trailer where Wade reportedly lived, investigators found a large amount of jewelry, TVs, a laptop computer, clothing, furniture and electronics believed to be stolen, the sheriff’s office reported.

The property has been tied to at least three Parker County burglary cases, according to Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler.

One alleged victim had reported his residence burglarized twice and his property in both cases was recovered, according to the sheriff’s office.

Investigators were busy tracking down serial numbers on property found in the seized travel trailer and connecting the items with prior burglary cases.

Virginia Collins, who runs an RV park on Tin Top Road, said Wade parked his travel trailer there a month ago and went by the name Gary Hinkle.

He was likable and told her he moved into the area because his best friend lived nearby, Collins said.

Another woman who went by Linda was often with him, according to Collins.

About 30 minutes prior to the incident, Collins said the neighbors noticed what appeared to be unmarked surveillance vehicles parked alongside the road in the area.

Wade got into his vehicle and the pursuit began a short time later, according to Collins.

Collins said the RV park is normally a quiet place, home to families with children and older people, but she plans to start doing background checks after the incident.