DPS: FL home invasion suspect thought to be in E. Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

DPS: FL home invasion suspect thought to be in E. Texas

Henry Contreras (Source: Orange County Sheriff's Office) Henry Contreras (Source: Orange County Sheriff's Office)
EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - The Department of Public Safety issued an alert on Friday for troopers to be on the lookout for a man wanted in connection with a home invasion in Orange County, FL

Henry Contreras, 49, is believed to be driving a maroon 2011 Nissan with Florida plates reading 546 JAM.

The DPS alert called for special attention from officers in Gregg, Rusk and Smith counties in East Texas. Officials believe Contreras has ties to this area.

On Wednesday, the Orange County Sheriff's Office arrested three men: Frank Bower, Johnathan Contreras, and Andres Perez. Investigators say the three broke into a multi-million dollar home, tied up the owner, and robbed him. Officials say two of the three suspects arrested have ties to East Texas. Investigators called the Rusk County Sheriff's office as well as the Gregg County Sheriff's office after they saw our stories about the home invasions.

Bower is familiar to some East Texans, having run a rehabilitation ministry in Rusk County for years.

News of his arrest surprised many who knew of his work.

"I think its a little more than a coincidence. Very disturbing. It's more than just disturbing," says Henderson resident William Beard.

Florida arrest affidavits show Bower and the two other men were dressed in all black, and were caught, oddly enough, on Kilgore Road in Orlando.

"I was totally flabbergasted and I really didn't understand what all went on," says Sharon Beard.

A former John Gotti bodyguard, Bower had become a familiar face around New London, often visiting the museum.

He had befriended many in the community and knew their families and children. Bower played the part to the fullest in interviews ten years ago.

"Why does God call a guy like me to do something like this? I'm dealing with inmates that are getting out of prison," Bower said in an August 2004 interview with KLTV.

Investigators in Florida are looking into the possibility that those the three suspects are connected to other home invasion robberies across their state.

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