HUGHES SPRINGS, TX (KLTV) - A theft ring in one East Texas town is broken up, with the arrests of 3 people, charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.
Police in Hughes Springs say they had been looking for suspects in a rash of burglaries and thefts for several weeks.
"Started here a few weeks ago, seeing what they could walk around, find. maybe pick up," says Hughes Springs police chief Randy Kennedy.
Some fairly high dollar items had been stolen over the 3 week period. And Kennedy says his experience told him to look in a familiar direction.
"They are users. That is part of the problem here," the chief says.
Knowing that meth users in his area often resort to theft, Kennedy got a DNA sample back from one scene and got a hit.
57-year old Darrell Campbell.
"We did get some DNA that identified one suspect from a previous burglary," Kennedy says.
Campbell and his wife Erica, both meth users, were arrested.
31-year old Ricky Joe Griffin and ring member was caught in a Mount Pleasant hotel.
"It is dangerous because they are walking up peoples property, a lot of times in the middle of the night. If they happen to come on the homeowner, bad things can occur," Randy says.
More disturbing, among the items stolen, a 357 pistol.
"It has since been traded, so we're in the process of trying to locate it now," says Kennedy.
There were drug charges against the 3 as well.
“All 3 of them were known to us. Drug use just takes complete control of a person and do things they normally wouldn’t do. It alters the person that you are,” the chief says.
Kennedy says some of the stolen property has been recovered, but they are still searching for other items.
The 3 suspects remain jailed on charges of organized criminal activity.