By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

 HOUSTON COUNTY – A suspect in a string of burglaries was arrested by Houston County law enforcement officials on Wednesday, Nov. 15 and charged with burglary of a building.

Thirty-six year old Billy Joe Burns was taken into custody for his alleged role in the burglaries of the Lake Side Food Mart in Ratcliff, the Latexo Hotspot, burglaries in Trinity and Angelina Counties, a store in Hudson and the Brookshire Brothers in Apple Springs.

Burns, who has a listed address in Yoakum, was apprehended after investigators determined the string of burglaries all roughly fit the same pattern. The perpetrator(s) entered the business establishments by breaking the glass of the front door, taking the cash register drawer and cigarettes.

During the Ratcliff break-in, Burns allegedly stole several signed checks, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

When Burns attempted to cash a check at a bank in Conroe, the bank called Lake Side Grocery for verification, but before the check was cashed, Burns left the financial institution. However, video footage and still photos were acquired during the botched transaction, the affidavit indicated.

The images allowed Houston County Sheriff’s Office investigator Mike McCreight to reach out to other law enforcement agencies and determine the person shown in the photos and video was Billy Joe Burns.

Burns was apprehended on Nov. 15 and charged with burglary of a building, a second degree felony.

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.”

Burns is being held at the Houston County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at