Caltrops found on Interstate 20 in Texas

July 24, 2020

Wendy Parker


Caltrop devices found on I-20 in Texas
These caltrop devices made of welded rebar were found on I-20 in Texasfrom U.S. 69 in Smith County to FM 314 in Van Zandt County, according to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook post.


Since early July more than 300 homemade caltrops have been recovered from Smith County and surrounding areas of Interstate 20, roughly 100 miles east of Dallas. Most recently, the devices were found at the 110 exit ramp in Lindale, Texas.

According to a July 9 post from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, in this instance the device is used for tire deflation and is a prohibited weapon in the state of Texas.

Police say a caltrop is a device with four metal points arranged so when any three are on the ground, the fourth projects upward as a hazard to the hooves of horses or to pneumatic tires. The devices have been found scattered along I-20 from U.S. 69 in Smith County to FM Road 314 in Van Zandt County.

The devices found in Smith County are made of rebar and are approximately 3 inches in size, the Sheriff’s Department said. They are welded, sharpened at every point and painted black.

Texas Penal Code (Chapter 46 section 46.05) states, “A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells a tire deflation device. This offense is a state jail felony.”

Law enforcement report no injuries stemming from caltrops have been reported.

Texas Department of Transportation, Lindale Police Department and Smith County Sheriff’s Office are asking for any information that may lead to an arrest.

Smith County Sheriff’s office also asks that anyone who observes anything in the road resembling a caltrop to notify law enforcement as soon as possible. Do not try to stop and remove them from the roadway yourself.

Contact information:

  • Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Tyler, Texas 903-590-2661.
  • Lindale Police Department: 903-590-2689.
  • Texas Department of Transportation: 888-373-7888.