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Aug 24, 2010 11:39 PM by MIKE MAGNOLI

Police Searching For Violent Criminal On The Loose

A man wanted in two Texas towns for a violent crime spree could be somewhere in Acadiana at the moment and that has people on edge.

"I heard that a man hijacked a van, hurt some woman really bad and he's somewhere around here but they don't know where."

"If he did it to one family, he could do it again."

"Lock your doors, look out, be as careful as you can."

-A sample of just some of the things people are saying on the street as the fugitive is at large.

Rayne police officers found a stolen white minivan in a Winn Dixie parking lot : They're testing it for DNA or any clues that could help their investigation. The theory is that the minivan was driven across the Texas state line into Louisiana by 40 year old Anthony Wayne O'Neal.

Police say he stole the van from a family in Lorena Texas: After he tied up the children and raped the mother. Police are calling that a random act of violence. But just an hour before that sexual assault police in Temple Texas say a fatal shooting at an apartment complex was not random. In that case, the victim who somehow knew O'Neal was shot in the chest. Police say O'Neal stole that victim's car. So the pattern, according to law enforcement, O'Neal commits his violent acts then steals a get-away vehicle.

Authorities believe he has family ties to Gretna Louisiana.

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