Breckenridge Texan

Stephens County Sheriff’s Office investigation leads to recovery of stolen property, arrests of suspects

Stephens County Sheriff’s Office investigation leads to recovery of stolen property, arrests of suspects
October 07
07:32 2020

In the overnight hours of Sept. 23 and 24, thieves broke into multiple vehicles parked in driveways on county roads off of FM 3201 at Hubbard Creek Lake, taking a variety of items from nine different homes, according to information from Sheriff Will Holt.

An investigation by the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office on the morning of Sept. 24 led to the recovery of many of the items and the eventual arrest of two suspects, Holt reported in a media release.

The sheriff, Chief Deputy Kevin Roach and Deputy McLane worked as a team that morning and into the afternoon to develop leads and document what items were stolen, Holt said.

In the course of the investigation, a suspect vehicle was identified by the S.O. using home security surveillance footage provided by multiple citizens who live in the area. Holt then located the suspect vehicle at a residence about a mile to two away from the various burglary locations.

The S.O. then made contact with multiple people at the residence, and two suspects were identified. A search of the suspect vehicle yielded multiple stolen items still in the suspect car, Holt reported.

That evening, Deputy Bill Flournoy began helping with the follow-up investigation and recovered four more items in the home where the suspect vehicle was parked. The stolen items recovered on the Sept. 24 included but are not limited to a pistol, cell phone holder, speaker box, purse, wallet, knives, jewelry, radar detector, and U.S. coins, according to the sheriff’s report.

On Sept. 24, Katherine Haley Elting, age 18, was arrested for Theft of Property equal to or greater than $750 but less than $2,500. She bonded out of jail the next day.

The investigation continued and Roach obtained additional warrants of arrest for Elting and Cameron Bivins, age 23. However, the two left the county after Elting bonded out of jail.

They were arrested just after midnight on Saturday, Oct. 4, in Smith County, southeast of Dallas. They were each arrested on the Stephens County warrants for Theft of a Firearm, which is a felony, according to the report.

“Our investigation continues, and there will likely be additional charges,” Holt said.

According to Smith County’s Jail Records website, Bivins was also arrested onsite for Possession of Marijuana more
than 2 ounces but less than or equal to 4 ounces, a Class A Misdemeanor. His bond was set at $1,000 for the marijuana charge and $10,000 for the Stephens County theft charge. Elting’s bond for the Stephens County theft charge against her also was set at $10,000.

In order to help local residents protect their property and prevent thefts, Holt offers the following tips:

  • Lock your vehicle wherever you are.
  • Don’t leave your purse, tablet, school bag, GPS, hunting gear, fishing equipment, or anything that looks valuable in plain sight inside your vehicle or truck bed. Criminals like to know what they can steal, before breaking a window or prying a door. Even if a bag or container is empty, a criminal won’t know this until after they have broken into your car.
  • Bicycles, scooters, etc. – store them inside when not using them. If you have to store them outside, always lock them to a fixed structure.
  • Know your neighbors — know which vehicles belong where — know who lives where – communicate with your neighbors.
  • Tell your trusted neighbors when you will be gone. They can look out for your stuff.
  • Close your window blinds at night – thieves drive or walk through neighborhoods at night so they can look through your blinds from the roadway or a parking lot and see if you have valuables, like flat-screen TVs, laptops, flat-screen monitors, firearms, gaming systems, etc.
  • Turn your outside lights on at night.
  • Check your mailbox every day. Don’t leave days’ worth of mail sitting in your box.
  • If lighting is not sufficient, install more or ask your landlord to do so.
  • Report street lights that are out to the City of Breckenridge, TXDoT, apartment complex manager, etc.
  • Car sound systems – when you blare your music, you advertise to the criminals that you have something to steal. Be respectful to your community and turn the sound down.
  • Set the alarm system. Lock all doors and dead-bolts.
  • Windows – shut them – latch them – lock them.
  • Secure/store out-of-sight lawn mowers, barbecue grills, outside furniture, trailers, welders, etc.

“If you see a strange person(s) or vehicle roaming or hanging out near your home, and that person or car does not belong at your apartment complex or near your residence, call 911 or 559-2211,” he continued. “Post this number on your fridge and put it in your cell phone. Thieves will walk aimlessly through apartment complexes and neighborhoods without ever going to a specific destination. If you see people or vehicles loitering or soliciting, call dispatch. Be as specific as possible when giving detailed descriptions, i.e. Race, weight, hair, height, clothing, license plate, vehicle make, and model. Call the first time you see or hear something suspicious. Please do not wait!”

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