Garage burglars caught, tools found in Quitman

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Three men were caught by local authorities late last night less than two hours after they were seen stealing tools from a West Industrial Drive garage.

The investigation ended in Quitman, where they recovered the tools one member of the trio admitted to stealing, as well as items from a burglary not reported until after 1 this morning.

Kenneth Ray Burnett, 48, his son Gregory Scott Burnett, 25, both of Quitman, and Robert Ozuna, 26, of Hurst were in the county jail this morning on felony burglary of a building and a misdemeanor burglary of a vehicle charges.

Sulphur Springs Police Patrol Officer Rojelio Reyes Jr. initially responded to a report of a burglary in progress at Tomas Garage on West Industrial Drive about 10:15 p.m.  A witness reported seeing two white men loading tools and other items into a brown Oldsmobile Cutlass at the business. Another man was also involved. The witness got the vehicle license plate number of the car, last seen headed north on Fisher Street.

Reyes checked the building and found the bay door open and several tools littering the ground. Closer inspection showed the tin in the back of the building had been cut. The owner was contacted. Asked if he knew who might have committed the break-in, the owner named Greg Burnett, an former employee whose job ended about three weeks ago when he left "under bad terms."

Dispatchers alerted area law enforcement personnel to be on the look out for the Cutlass Oldsmobile.

At 11:30 p.m. Sgt. Todd Evans spotted the vehicle traveling north on State Highway 154 south of Sulphur Springs and was following it into town. Evans initiated a traffic stop at Sulphur Springs Livestock Commission, assisted by state troopers, other deputies and city police.

The driver was identified as Kenneth Ray Burnett. The front passenger was his son Gregory Scott Burnett, and the rear passenger was identified as Ozuna.

Greg Burnett said he didn’t know anything about the burglary and didn’t want to talk unless the others were present. Kenneth Burnett initially denied any knowledge about the burglary. When told of the information relayed by a witness, Kenneth Burnett said he did commit the burglary, but that his son Greg and Robert Ozuna never entered the building; they only helped load the tools.

All three were arrested . One of the men then agreed to go with officers to Wood County, to a location near the Burnett's Quitman residence, to show them where the tools were stashed. Numerous tools were also removed from the trunk and passenger compartment of Ozuna's vehicle. Other items were recovered from behind rock pile in brush  Comanche Street.

The tools were returned to the garage owner. An estimate showed the tools to be valued at $10,000 or more.

While officers were still in Quitma, SSPD Patrol Officer Chris Rosamond was contacted at about 1:20 a.m. by a man whose truck had been broken into. The man said he had parked it near the garage while going in the night club next door. He noticed his dash had been tampered with and a toolbox was missing.

Rosamond contacted Reyes, who located the toolbox. One of the suspects also admitted to taking it.

At 2 a.m., the man whose truck had been burglarized called back to say a camouflage ground blind and carrying case were also missing. Reyes had already left Quitman but remembered seeing the items. Rosamond contacted Wood County sheriff’s officers, who were to bring the items to Sulphur Springs when an investigator comes to interview the arrested men about offenses there.

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