Suspect who stole Dayton police cruiser in May back in custody

Clifford Oclair

The search for a Dayton man who allegedly evaded police and later stole a police cruiser on May 31 was arrested on Monday, July 11, by the U.S. Marshal’s Office, Pct. 4 and Pct. 6 Constables’ Offices and Dayton Police Department.

According to Dayton Police Chief Derek Woods, 54-year-old Clifford Oclair was taken into custody along SH 321 near the Dollar General store in Dayton.

“He has been traveling near the railroad overpass on State Highway 321. The U.S. Marshals found several campsites where he has been living and has managed to hide out for some time,” Woods said.

Oclair originally was wanted on felony warrants from the Pct. 4 Constable’s Office related to a theft case in the Kenefick area.

“We had arrested him in Kenefick at one of the stores for Possession of a Controlled Substance. When we searched his truck, we found five guns, a night scope and ammo that had been stolen from a farmer in the Dayton area two weeks prior to that. We found out about the stolen guns when we ran the numbers and one came back as stolen,” Pct. 4 Constable Robby Thornton told Bluebonnet News back in May.

During the processing of his arrest, Oclair, still handcuffed, escaped the back of a patrol car and fled police. Authorities were attempting to arrest him on May 31 when he made a second escape and allegedly stole the Dayton police cruiser.

Dayton police officers were pursuing Oclair on foot when he doubled back and drove away in the vehicle, authorities said at the time. He was chased by other patrol units to a wooded area at the end of N. Winfree St. where he disappeared.

Tracking dogs from the prisons in the Dayton area were used to try and pick up Oclair’s scent, but they were unsuccessful in locating him at the time.

The exact charges that will be filed against Oclair are still being determined, Woods said, but will include the unauthorized use of the police cruiser, along with the previous escape and theft cases.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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