ETX burglar caught hiding in air vent; tips from public key in capture

ETX burglar caught hiding in air vent; tips from public key in capture
Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 3:32pm

A Lufkin man is behind bars for allegedly breaking into three camp houses in Nacogdoches County and stealing items. Authorities were able to catch the thief hiding in a vent following a flood of tips from the public.

Once game camera pictures of the suspected person and vehicle were posted to media sites, tips led authorities to Paul Smith's identity within hours.

After authorities obtained an arrest warrant, they met with Smith's girlfriend, who was in the house. She denied the suspect was inside when questioned, but consented to law enforcement searching the home. Officials found the 51-year-old hiding in an air return vent. 

The suspect was taken into custody without incident and charged with three counts of burglary after stolen property was found at his home, said Sheriff Jason Bridges. His bond was set at $150,000.

Two of the burglaries occurred in the Lilbert area in November 2013, and the other took place in Kingtown and Etoile on FM 226 in February 2014.

Two women were also taken into custody at Smith’s residence by the Angelina County Sheriff's Office for harboring a fugitive.

ACSO would like to thank the public for their help in this investigation. The timely information they received from the public and from the Angelina County Sheriff's Office helped identify this suspect and led to the clearance of three active burglary investigations in Nacogdoches County.


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