Deputies capture 'survivalist' accused of burglaries in Nacogdoches Co.
POSTED: Friday, August 2, 2013 - 10:12am
UPDATED: Friday, August 2, 2013 - 3:56pm
Nacogdoches County, Texas (KETK) — A man wanted by authorities in Nacogdoches County for multiple burglaries has been caught by authorities, according to the Nacogdoches Sheriff's Office.
The suspected burglar, Jeffrey Holliman, 50, is described as a "survivalist," who has been squatting in abandoned houses and in make-shift shelters. He is accused of stealing weapons, clothes, money, survival equipment and large quantities of food from local houses and vehicles.
Holliman was taken into custody, Thursday night, near CR 411, after he was found at a make-shift camp site hidden deep in the woods. Sheriff Jason Bridges stated that a resident observed a beaten down path going into the woods that had been heavily traveled.
The resident contacted the Precinct 4 constable office and explained to them of the suspicious activity. Constable David Stone and Chief Deputy Shawn Murray both with the Precinct 4 Constable Office arrived on scene and followed the trail deep into the woods. Holliman was found inside a tent and was taken into custody without incident.
Sheriff investigators arrived on scene and found two tents that Holliman had been living in that was full of stolen property. Due to the vast amount of evidence, Sheriff Deputies stayed on scene throughout the night to guard the crime scene and protect the property. Detectives with the sheriff's office and Precinct 4 Constable Office processed the crime scene early this morning that took several hours to collect evidence.
Sheriff Bridges stated that several more guns, computers and other personal property that had been stolen from houses, vehicles and buildings in the Melrose and Woden area have been recovered at the scene.
Bridges said this investigation started in the middle of January when several houses and vehicles had been broken into. Sheriff Investigators and the precinct 4 Constable Office has been working these cases for several months with little to no leads.
The burglaries have continued since that time with no set pattern or leads in the cases. A break in the case came last Monday when officials received a call of a burglary at an abandoned house on CR 411 that was located well off the roadway in a remote location.
Sheriff Investigators arrived at the scene along with the Precinct 4 Constable Office. Investigators recovered a large amount of property that had been stolen in this series of ongoing burglaries. Sheriff Investigators quickly identified that this was a stash house and possible living quarters for the suspect in these burglaries.
Sheriff Investigators spent all of Monday and Tuesday processing the crimescene and fingerprinting evidence that was recovered at the first scene.
Several fingerprints were recovered from the scene.
With the assistance of Lufkin Police, sheriff investigators were able to find a positive match on the fingerprints running the prints through Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
The match came back to Holliman and several other prints located at the scene also has confirmed this. The pieces of the puzzle started coming together after investigators found a positive lead on the suspect. Investigators and deputies from both departments believed that Holliman was possibly still in the area and may have been staying at other abandoned houses.
Since Wednesday morning, deputies have been searching the woods and every abandoned house in the Melrose and Woden area. Sheriff Bridges stated that evidence was found that Holliman had been staying at and living in at least two other abandoned houses in the Melrose area.
Sheriff Bridges says Holliman was in very poor condition at the time of the arrest and he was suffering from dehydration. He was transported to the Nacogdoches County Memorial Hospital by Deputies and treated. Holliman was later booked into the Nacogdoches County Jail.
Holliman is currently charged with a motion to revoke probation charge with no bond set and the Sheriff's Office has currently filed one burglary of a habitation charge on Holliman a 2nd degree felony. Sheriff Bridges stated more charges will be filed on Holliman in the near future. We have a vast amount of evidence to go through at this time and then link each item to its rightful owner. The Sheriff office currently has 30 open investigations that Holliman may be linked to. The Constable Office precinct 4 has five open investigations as well.
Sheriff Bridges stated that the interagency cooperation with the Constable Office Precinct 4 and the assistance of the public helped make this arrest possible. It took us some time to come up with a suspect in this investigation, but this by no means was the usual burglary case. Holliman has possibly been living in the woods and some abandoned houses since September of 2012 and has had limited contact with the public.
He did not have a vehicle and traveled mostly through the woods to get from place to place.
Once Holliman was identified as the primary suspect, the case move forwarded very quickly with the help of the public.