Heat-seeking camera used to detect couple in a field off South Church Street after high-speed chase

A Lamar County sheriff’s deputy used a FLIR device — a “Forward Looking InfraRed camera — to locate a 36-year-old Forestburg man and a 31-year-old Forestburg woman lying in a field after a high-speed chase that ended in their arrest over the weekend.

Stephen Ray Meek

Stephen Ray Meek

Brandi Barber

Brandi Barber

Charged with burglary of a coin-operated machine were Stephen Ray Meek and Brandi Barber, both of whom are shown with an address on FM 922 in Montague County about 40 miles northwest of Denton

Meek also was charged with evading arrest with a vehicle with a previous conviction.

Forestburg is about 40 miles northwest of Denton, in southeastern Montague County.

Police Chief Bob Hundley said police officer Jeff Padier was patrolling in the 1900 block of Bonham Street when he noticed two people dressed in black, wearing ski masks, prying on the door of a self-serve ice machine.

“The officer pulled toward the subjects, who ran to a pickup truck and took off,” Hundley said.

Backup units were alerted as the suspects drove through parking lots and eventually turned south on Southwest 19th Street. The pursuit went south to County Road 21500, into a field back onto the roadway getting to the Southwest Loop, the police chief said.

“The suspects then fled reaching speeds of 100 miles an hour  The vehicle crossed over to the wrong side of the road and continued east at speeds reaching 115 miles an hour.”

Other police department units and Lamar County sheriff’s department units closed on the area as the vehicle took the exit ramp to Church Street.

Officers lost sight of the vehicle for a short time before finding it in a field behind the Texas attorney general’s office, Hundley said.

A deputy with the sheriff’s office had a FLIR device on his patrol car and used it to find the suspects, who were lying face down in the field.

The thermal imaging camera uses detection of infrared radiation, typically emitted from a heat source — such as a human body against a cooler background — to create a “picture” in the camera.

Meek and Barber were taken into custody and later transported to the Lamar County Jail, where they were booked Sunday afternoon.

By Charles Richards, eParisExtra


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About the Author

Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.