Man Arrested In Bank Robbery Set To Get Habitat For Humanity Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/29/07-Tyler

Man Arrested In Bank Robbery Set To Get Habitat For Humanity Home

He's believed to have been involved in at least a dozen East Texas bank robberies, but Saturday, we found out he's also involved in a getting a new home from a local nonprofit.   Saturday, we were going to cover a story about a Tyler family getting a new home from Habitat For Humanity, but instead we discovered the father of that family is Derrick Hodges, 33. 

Hodges was arrested Friday by Henderson Police for allegedly robbing a bank there back in November, and police say they believe he's involved in a string of bank robberies all over East Texas.  Habitat For Humanity says despite recent revelations, he's still set to get the house.  For the past two and half years police departments all over East Texas have been investigating bank robberies happening in their area, all with the same method of operations.

"The two that we had here in Henderson, the method they used, the description of the suspects, the way they do everything was very similar to other robberies in Tyler, Marshall, Carthage, Crockett, all in that area," said Henderson Police Lieutenant Craig Sweeney.  Now Henderson Police say they have one of the suspected robbers behind bars.  A convicted felon, records show Derrick Hodges has committed crimes like burglary and auto theft. 

"It ought to make people going into these banks feel a whole lot safer on certain days, that they're able to conduct business in peace," said Sweeney.  What about neighbors living next to the Hodges in a brand new home being built for the family by Habitat For Humanity?

"There's no reason at this time why things won't continue as they're going," said Interim Executive Director Rand Huzenlaub.  So, the work goes on for a family of five with three children.

"Let's just say she's earned this home," said Huzenlaub.  "She has earned this home."  A public search on the Smith County Judicial Web site shows Hodges is no stranger to law enforcement, arrested seven times in Smith County alone, so KLTV 7 wanted to know why Habitat for Humanity did not check these records before approving Hodges' application.

"They're screened very closely, as far as, their need is concerned, and it's based on need," said Huzenlaub.  Habitat tells us the only check they perform is for registered sex offenders, so right now, Hodges and his family will get the keys to their new home next Sunday, even if he's still in jail.

Tracy Watler, Reporting. tracy@kltv.com

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