By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – A 32-year-old Crockett man is behind bars after he took several items that did not belong to him from a house he was renting to another couple.

Clarence Chandale Mask was arrested and charged with burglary of a habitation after he entered a residence at 1114 N. 4th St. and took possession of items that did not belong to him.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Crockett Police Department Officer Shane Sandifer was on patrol during the early evening hours of June 4 when he responded to a call concerning a theft at the aforementioned address.

When he arrived, the officer met with the complainant “… who stated that she believed her landlord came in the house while she and her husband had gone to Brookshire Bros. and had taken some of their belongings out of their house.”

Asked who her landlord was, the complainant said the landlord’s name was Clarence Mask and provided Sandifer with a phone number to contact him. The complainant also indicated her sister had some property at the residence and it had also been taken.

“After speaking with the tenants, I determined no eviction paperwork had been filed by Mask and the proper avenues of a landlord/tenant situation were not satisfied, allowing Mask to enter the residence properly,” Sandifer stated in the affidavit.

The officer indicated in the report he had attempted to call Mask but the phone was answered by a female, later identified as Mask’s significant other. Sandifer asked the female to have Mask give him a call, which he did.

Sandifer spoke with Mask “… and advised him that his tenant wanted to press charges for stealing the items and that he needed to bring them back.”

Shortly afterwards, Sandifer went back on patrol but returned to the residence when he heard another police unit responding to a call at the previously mentioned residence, the affidavit reported.

While Sandifer was speaking with CPD Officer Jeffery Dean, Mask arrived at the residence in a grey Cadillac. The affidavit stated Dean asked Mask “… where the tenant’s possessions were. Mask pointed at the Cadillac and said the items were inside.”

Mask was then placed under arrest for burglary of a habitation. Dean explained to Mask “… that even though he owns the house, he is currently not residing in it and cannot take other people’s possessions especially without any proper eviction paperwork being filed.”

Under Texas law, burglary of a habitation is considered as 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.”

Mask is currently held at the Houston County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

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