Man Crashes Car, Tries to Steal From Houston County Museum

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – In a bizarre incident much stranger than fiction, a man was arrested after allegedly crashing his car through the gate and burglarizing the Houston County Museum in Crockett, Tuesday, Feb. 13. 

A utility pole lays damaged after the recent crash and break-in at the Houston County Museum.

Sources told The Messenger a neighbor called Crockett Police Department (CPD) to report sparks from a power line behind the museum. Arriving at the scene, CPD officers noticed the fence around the museum was open and damaged, observed broken glass covering the entrance, only then to find a man sitting in an SUV, naked and unconscious. 

CPD Officer Hayden Duran and Sgt. Matthew Millican identified 43-year-old Armando Antonio Luna as the driver and called EMS to assist in waking Luna. As the officers checked the area, they noticed Luna’s clothes in a pile near the museum, along with a broken window and a typewriter on the ground. A telephone pole was also on the ground, apparently hit by Luna and what caused the alarmed neighbor to contact authorities. 

Luna allegedly admitted he had taken methamphetamine and was transported to Mid-Coast Medical for treatment, before being transported to Houston County Jail. Officers suspect Luna threw a rock through a window, trying to gain entry, before forcing one of the side doors and going inside. 

Luna’s clothes lie discarded, after he undressed and returned to his car, before being discovered by CPD officers.

Patsy Stokes, one of the dedicated museum staff, spoke with The Messenger to confirm the damage, and although she believes it can be repaired, was angry Luna apparently broke Eliza Bishop’s typewriter, one of the historical pieces housed at the museum. 

Neither CPD, museum staff, nor The Messenger could explain how Luna, a native of Pasadena, made his way to Crockett, much less to the small museum on the west side of downtown Crockett. No source offered any speculation as to why Luna decided to disrobe and return to his car, all while carrying an antique typewriter. 

The Messenger was able to reach out to Crockett City Administrator John Angerstein, who got Crockett Public Works to make sure the area was clear of broken glass. The Messenger also contacted a local company to survey and possibly repair the damaged fence. 

Eliza Bishop’s typewriter, one of the museum exhibits lays damaged after the break-in, although museum officials hope to be able to repair it.

Houston County Judge Jim Lovell, when informed of the incident, went to the museum with the county environmental officer to inspect the area and render any additional help. 

The museum is closed for the winter and no one was injured in the incident. Local businessman David Tyer, who was already assisting the museum to repair water damage from the winter ice storm, is also helping to repair other parts of the museum damaged by Luna. 

The Messenger has reported – with alarm – the growing number of criminal elements who target Houston County citizens and property. 

As of press time, Luna is in Houston County Jail, charged with second-degree felony burglary of a building, driving while intoxicated and criminal mischief. His total bond stands at $22,500. 

The Messenger will update this story and the work to repair the museum as needed. 


All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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