Police Break Up Suspected Burglary Ring - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/3/06-Cherokee County

Police Break Up Suspected Burglary Ring

Seven people are now in jail accused of being part of a big burglary ring in East Texas Police say more arrests are possible. Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies arrested 19-year-old Joshua Scales of Reklaw, 28-year-old Christine Hamer and 18-year-old Landon Gray, both of Jacksonville. Jacksonville police arrested 21-year-old Brandon Sherman, 23-year-old Scott Houser, 17-year-old Tommy Ferguson and 33-year-old Prentice Holland, all from Jacksonville. The burglaries have been going on for about a month. As stolen items started turning up gradually, police say so did suspects. Jacksonville police say they had no idea so many people were involved.

"Initially we thought it was going to be three people, but as things progressed because you had people taking in the stolen property and re-selling it, it starting mushrooming real quickly," said Lt. John Paige, Jacksonville Police Department. Police found stolen items such as guns, motorcycles and a lawn mower. The county recovered stolen items as well such as a generator, a flat screen television and several guns. A Kawasaki mule costing more than $8,000.00 was also recovered by the county. Deputies say because it costs more than $1,500.00 the charge is upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony, which means the suspects involved could face up to ten years in a state jail. Both the sheriff's department and Jacksonville police say the burglaries were random.

"I believe they were looking for targets of opportunity," said Major Johnathan Rhodes, Chief Deputy. "What was easy for them."

"If they saw something like a 4 wheeler or motorcycle and the opportunity presented itself they would just jump out and get it," said Lt. Paige. Police also say they used the stolen items to get drugs.

"That's our understanding at this time, that a lot of the merchandise was being traded for methamphetamine specifically," said Lt. Paige. A situation police say is very common. When it comes to burglaries, they say 90% of the time drugs are involved.

Police say they could make more arrests this week. All seven arrested received different charges ranging from misdemeanor theft to felony theft.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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