By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – An alleged burglar who escaped from the custody of Houston County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) deputies has been arrested and booked into custody on two felony counts.

Trevor Michael McClain, 23, from Crockett, was arrested on charges of burglary of a habitation and escape after he turned himself in on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, HCSO deputies were dispatched to a residence located at 2873 County Road 1105 at approximately 5:51 p.m. on Jan. 14, in reference to a burglary.

When the law enforcement officials arrived at the location, they were met by the individual who called in the complaint. The legal document stated the complainant and his wife were returning home on the evening of Jan. 14 when they observed an occupied John Deere Gator parked near the entrance to their residence.

“As they continued to drive towards their residence, the complainant observed a white male and a white female subject running into the wooded area directly across from the residence. He (the complainant) immediately identified the male subject to be the defendant (McClain) who used to work for him,” the affidavit reported.

It also was indicated in the probable cause document the complainant stopped to talk with McClain and asked him what he was doing.

McClain stated he and the female companion had found two televisions in a ditch near the complainant’s residence, the affidavit stated.

“The complainant observed two TVs on the bed of the Gator and positively identified them as belonging to him,” the affidavit stated. “The defendant and the complainant went to the complainant’s residence with the TVs. The complainant entered his residence and noticed that someone had broken into it by forcefully kicking the front door wide open with their foot.”

As the law enforcement officials began their investigation, the affidavit reported they noticed a partial shoe print on the front porch which appeared to match the shoes McClain was wearing. The deputies further observed a muddy shoe print in the living room which also appeared to match McClain’s shoes.

While the complainant was taking inventory of his possessions, the affidavit indicated several other items were missing which included two firearms and a laptop computer.

Based on the evidence discovered at the scene, McClain “… was then detained and placed into the back of a sheriff’s office vehicle,” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit further stated, “While on the scene, other deputies went to a location where the suspect had been seen earlier. Deputies gained consent to search the building, which was a barn that was located on the suspect’s family property. Upon searching, a firearm was allocated, along with a laptop computer and other items positively identified by the complainant and belonging to him.”

As the deputies were investigating, the affidavit indicated McClain was able to roll down the patrol vehicle’s window and escape.

“After an exhaustive search of the area, the suspect wasn’t located,” the report stated.

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, Houston County Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt was contacted about the matter. The sheriff said the female companion also is under investigation but was unsure if she would be charged or not.

“After we get him, we will determine what her knowledge and participation level (in the crime) was. The suspect lives out in that area and as a matter of fact, his grandparents live out on that same road where the houses were burglarized,” he said.

“He ran from the deputies the other night from the burglary scene. We did speak with the female companion but I’m not sure of her age as of right now. Her story was sort of flimsy, but we would like to speak with him. We will see where we go from there. We have recovered most of the stolen merchandise, but we are still looking for the main actor,” Bobbitt said.

According to Lt. Martha Jackson at the Houston County Jail, McClain turned himself in later in the day on Jan. 18. He was booked into custody on one count of burglary of a habitation – a second degree felony – and one count of escape – a third degree felony.

His bond was set at $20,000 for the burglary and $10,000 for the escape charge. The bond was posted on Thursday, Jan. 19 and McClain was released pending trial.

According to Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 20 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

A third degree felony under Section 12.34 if the Texas Penal Code carries a sentence of two to 10 years in a state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.