More caltrops were found on Interstate 20 in the Lindale area Tuesday morning.

The tire flattening devices were located in the westbound lanes near the US Highway 69 on-ramp in Lindale, near the Hideaway and the State Highway 110 exits.

Law enforcement and the Texas Department of Transportation continue to search for people responsible for making these tire flattening devices.

The devices were also located in the eastbound lanes near the Hideaway on-ramp Tuesday.

These caltrops were found about two weeks after Smith County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Sgt. Larry Christian notified the public about the first set of caltrops that had been found on I-20 between US Highway 69 in Smith County to Farm-to-Market Road 314 in Van Zandt County.

These devices are made of welded rebar and sharpened on each side, so whichever way the device lays, a side points up so that it will catch a tire.

The sheriff’s office asks the public to call 903-566-6600 if anything is known about the manufacture or distribution of the devices.

“We are urging all motorists to remain vigilant as well and to report any that are located to their local law enforcement agency,” the sheriff’s office said.

Christian said the Lindale Police Department, Smith County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office, TxDOT and the sheriff’s assisted in gathering the devices found Tuesday.

During a July 8 news conference at the Texas Department of Transportation office in Tyler, Kathi White, TxDOT Tyler District public information officer, said more than 300 caltrops have been found along the 12-mile stretch on I-20 between US-69 and FM 314.

The devices are about three inches in size and are considered a dangerous road hazard, Christian said.

“So anyway you throw these devices on the roadway, it’s going to be having a spike end up. The danger of these spikes is that if somebody hits them their tire will blow out,” he said during the initial announcement. “The biggest concern is them having a major accident out on the highway and possibly being injured or even killed.”

White said the devices are being found, not just in the shoulders but in the driving lanes as well. She encouraged people to use caution while driving.

Christian said building caltrops requires rebar and specialized equipment. He hopes someone will notify the sheriff’s office if they see a person with those materials in their possession.

Caltrops and other tire flattening devices are illegal weapons under the Texas Penal Code. A person is charged with a state jail felony if they intentionally or knowingly possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell a tire deflation device.

When a person gets their tire blown out, Christian said they should pull over if they’re able to do so. If they believe a caltrop was involved, they should notify law enforcement.

 
 

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Ben Fenton is a digital multimedia journalist that has worked at the Tyler Morning Telegraph since 2019. He is from Lindale, Texas and holds a Bachelors in Digital Media and a Masters in Communication.