Running on Empty: Robbery Suspects Busted When Getaway Car Runs Out of Gas
In the recent critically acclaimed movie Drive, dreamy heartthrob Ryan Gosling plays a stunt driver by day and a getaway driver by night. He has some simple rules that the crooks hiring him must follow. For example, there is a very narrow window of time when Gosling's character will remain on the scene. Be there or get left behind.
From left: Kolby Fleeks, Raymond Paige and Kassandra Beltran.
Gosling's character is meticulous and with good reason. One mistake and he lands himself behind bars. He drives a kick-ass car. He wears driving gloves to help him steer and make him look like a bad mofo. He chews on a toothpick for effect. He doesn't talk. This ain't no Driving Miss Daisy.
The result of his detailed planning and prodigious driving skills is nearly always a clean escape for himself and his clients. One thing is certain, he checks the gas gauge before he leaves. I mean, how much fun would a movie be if the idiot driver ran out of gas in the middle of a chase?
Unfortunately for Kolby Fleeks, 20, Raymond Paige, 19, and Kassandra Beltran, 17, they have neither the skills of Gosling's "Driver" nor his intelligence.
According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the three were arrested in Channelview on January 24 after the red Jeep they used to flee the scene of two home burglaries ran out of gas near the site of their last job, which also happened to be the home of Beltran's aunt. Classy.
The report alleges that the trio kicked in the front door of an apartment at 917 Ashland in Channelview at 9 a.m., where they were confronted by the occupants. They nabbed a TV on their way out the door. Afterward, the report states, they made their way to 806 Donrest where the suspects told the homeowner -- presumably Beltran's aunt -- to get in a closet while they pilfered loot from the house.
While officers were taking a statement at the site of the second burglary, a patrol deputy notified the investigators that the suspects had been found and taken into custody after they ran out of gas. A fitting end to a short-lived crime spree.
All three are being held at the Harris County Jail for Burglary of a Habitation.
All three were taken into custody for Burglary of a Habitation and are currently being held at the Harris County Jail. They are identified as Kassandra Beltran, 17; Raymond Paige, 19; and Kolby Fleeks, 20. Deputies later learned the burglary victim in the second case is Beltran's aunt.
Getaway drivers everywhere are shaking their heads. Just as a reminder for our trio of would-be bandits, I offer the following: