Robinson Homeowner Pulls Gun On Suspects Burglarizing Home

Rissa Shaw reports.

ROBINSON - A SWAT raid to catch burglary suspects in Robinson ended Wednesday afternoon with one suspect caught and another still on the run.

The home on the 1000 block of Downsville Road has been burglarized twice this week.  Robinson Police believed the same people were responsible for both crimes.

"It's kind of out of character for burglars to come back to the same house, but it does occur from time to time, and in this instance, I do speculate they were responsible for Monday's burglary," said Lt. Tracy O'Connor with the Robinson Police Department.

Robinson PD responded to the first burglary Monday.  The suspects broke through gates and broke into the tack shed and stole thousands of dollars of saddles, tools, kayaks and more, according to the homeowner who said his safe was not stolen, but he found it attached to a dolly.  He believed the safe was the reason why the suspects returned.

"It's not about the money, those saddles meant a lot to my family," said homeowner Kelly Brown.  "My daughter cried when she heard they were gone."

Brown was out of town for work Monday when his neighbor told him his horses were out.  He came to the house to find it had been burglarized.  The home was vacant at the time because it's up for sale, but he still lives nearby.

"I thought it was the end of it," said Brown.

While it wasn't the end, the suspects had no clue what was in-store for them when they returned Wednesday morning.

Around 5:15 a.m., Brown was leaving for work and went to check the mail when he pulled into the driveway and saw an unknown vehicle.  He blocked the vehicle in with his truck, then got his gun and pointed it at the suspects.  It was dark, so he didn't shoot because he couldn't see them very well and didn't want to hit one of his horses, but he heard them running away.

"Even though I had a weapon, I was scared," said Brown.  "I yelled to my neighbor to call 9-1-1."

Police officers with the Waco Independent School District happened to be driving by and stopped to help Brown as Robinson Police and the McLennan County Sheriff's Office responded.

The MCSO "eye in the sky" helicopter was called-in to help search for the suspects, as were horses and blood hounds with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  Those dogs found one suspect, William Newton, 44, in the tree line on Saffel Road.

"My hats off to all the outside agencies that were able to help out," said Lt. O'Connor.

 After an extensive search from a variety of agencies including TDCJ, MCSO, Robinson PD, Hewitt PD, Woodway PD, Waco PD, Robinson Fire, the Texas Rangers and more, the Woodway SWAT team, comprised of officers from Woodway, Hewitt, and Robinson police departments, was called-in.

"Out officers, pilots, SWAT guys, were just outstanding," said Brown.

During the search, at least two suspected shots were fired, according to police and witnesses.  Robinson's Chief of Police said his evidence-tech, and others, strongly believed shots came from inside the home. The home was searched but no one was found, which led them to believe the suspect was under the home.  

After several hours of attempts to lure the suspect out including the use of tear gas, police dogs, and negotiating over a loud speaker, there was no suspect found inside or under the home, and the area was cleared.

The suspect was still unaccounted for Wednesday night, which made Brown feel uneasy.  However, he felt better about the situation because of all the help he'd received from his neighbors and law enforcement agencies throughout the day.

"It's so reassuring to know that it's more than just you against the world, we truly have a community, it was a community against a situation today," said Brown.

Police were unsure why Brown's home was targeted, however, they believed the fact the home was vacant was a possibility.  Brown, a prominent businessman in Robinson, believed they may have known him, who he was, or knew details about the home.

"They knew where to look," said Brown.

Newton was arrested and booked into the McLennan County Jail on two counts of burglary of a habitation.

Robinson Police were in charge of the on-going investigation.

(© 2016 KCEN)


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