Two arrested in connection with burglary, burning of Anderson County home

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 12:28 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2022 at 10:50 PM CDT
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ANDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A burglary took place at a house in Anderson County, which became engulfed in flames shortly after.

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call of a burglary in progress on the 1500 block of ACR 385 on Wednesday. The call came from Mike DeFore, the son of the woman whose home was being burglarized.

DeFore said one suspect, later identified as Rita Alvarado Diaz, 39, was sitting in a black 4-door Honda while another, Zachery Jarred Burris, 32, was removing property from inside the house.

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A social media post from the sheriff’s office says the suspects fled in the Honda, “almost striking” DeFore, who tried to stop them.

Authorities stopped the vehicle on US-84 and took the suspects into custody.

Shortly after, DeFore noticed his mother’s house was billowing smoke, so he called 911 again to report it. When the sheriff arrived, the house was engulfed in flames, according to the social post. Fire departments responded and investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office assisted.

DeFore said he believes Burris set the fire with a torch he was found with when he was arrested.

Both suspects have been charged with burglary of a habitation with intent to commit another felony (2nd degree felony - $20,000 bond).

DeFore said all his family can do is clean up the burned home and be thankful that no one was hurt.