David Campbell should have thought this one through. When you and your buddies have, as DeSoto police believe Campbell did, stolen a monster truck and hidden it deep into the woods, it's not the best idea to try to claim a reward offered for the trucks safe return. People are going to wonder how you knew it was there.
Campbell didn't see that coming. Cops say he called Dallas Hale, part owner of the truck, last week and asked if the $5,000 reward offered for the truck was still available. Hale told him that it was and agreed to meet Campbell at an Exxon just off I-35 in DeSoto.
The pair met up, Campbell led Hale to the truck and Hale gave Campbell the cash. Campbell hopped in his green pickup to leave, but was quickly arrested by DeSoto police, who'd been alerted to Hale and Campbell's meeting by Matt Saba, the other owner of the truck -- which serves as a rolling billboard for Hale and Saba's Shell Shack and Back 9 Sports Bar and Grill restaurants.
Campbell went quietly, finding himself placed in DeSoto city jail without incident. The same can't be said for Carl Eric Meyer, Amanda Lee and Paul Lee, all of whom have been charged in connection with an auto-theft ring police say stole the monster truck.
After being spotted by police in a Ford 350 that'd been reported stolen, Paul Lee crashed the truck before hopping into a white Mustang driven by Meyer. Lee's sister Amanda was also in the Mustang, according to police. Meyer reversed the Mustang into an officer, cops say, before another officer on the scene shot him.
Saba says it was Campbell who connected the others to the monster truck theft.
"As soon as he clicked those handcuffs, he said, 'I'll tell you who did this or who did this,'" Saba says. "I'm not trying to show the guy out for singing, but that's exactly what he did."
It took Saba and Hale five hours just to get the truck out of the woods and back to the road, Saba says. It was missing its stereo and exhaust system and had suffered damage to the steering column when it was hotwired. The interior was also doused with diesel, according to Saba. All told the damage will run about $20,000 after repairs are completed.
The truck was longtime fixture at the Back 9 in Addison, Saba says, but it was stolen just a few days after being moved to Plano to promote a new Shell Shack. Saba and Have received an outpouring of support from their fellow bar owners, Saba says, including offers to have a fundraiser to pay for repairs. Saba says he doesn't want to make any money off of the situation though, so any money that gets raised will go straight to charity.
Paul Lee has been charged with evading arrest. Amanda Lee faces engaging in organized criminal activity charges, while Meyer is accused of assaulting a public servant.