Authorities ask for help finding Peerless burglary suspect

Another $26,000 in stolen property recovered Tuesday

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Hopkins County sheriff's investigators, in conjunction with Rains County and auto task officials, rounded up more than $26,000 worth of additional property determined to have been stolen from two homes and a storage building in Peerless.

Tuesday's recovery brings the total amount of retrieved property in the burglary case to $132,000. That doesn't include two stolen four-wheelers from Wood County and a third from another county which were found at the Rains County homes of the suspect and his brother.

One person has been arrested, and authorities are asking for help in locating a second person wanted in connection with the thefts.

HCSO Investigators Lewis Tatum and Charles Humphries had yet to locate Billy Dale Bailey as of Tuesday evening to serve four warrants issued in the case, and were asking for the public's help in tracking him down. Charges are also pending in at least two other counties related to stolen four-wheelers.

Bailey is described as a 47-year-old white male, is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds. He has blue eyes and brown hair. Anyone with information about him is encouraged to contact Hopkins County Sheriff's Office at 903-438-4040, or the nearest law enforcement agency.

Authorities have still had no luck locating a $3,000 John Deere riding lawn mower, a stuffed bobcat and other miscellaneous items stolen sometime between Feb. 10 and Feb. 15 in Peerless.

The Peerless property owners returned home on Feb. 15 from Dallas, where they work during the week, to find nearly all of their belongings missing from their two houses and a shed on County Road 4754.

On Thursday, Feb. 23, Rains County Sheriff David Traylor put out a regional bulletin regarding a Kawasaki Mule with fake identification tags he found at a Rains County residence along with a stolen pickup truck.

Ron Lowrie, communications supervisor for Hopkins County Sheriff's Office, was aware a Kawasaki Mule been stolen from Peerless. He alerted Hopkins County sheriff's investigators, who traveled to Rains County to check out the Mule to see if it matched the one stolen from Peerless; it did.

The investigators went with Rains County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Kurt Fischer and detective Richard Almon to the Emory residence of Billy Dale Bailey and Rebecca Ann Bailey, where the vehicle was found.

Rebecca Bailey allowed a search of the grounds by the team, which at that point also included HCSO Chief Deputy Rickey Morgan and Texas Department of Public Safety Auto Task Force Agent John Murphy. The multi-agency team recovered a number of guns, barbecue grills, pictures, professional quality photography equipment, stuffed animals and various other household items which filled several pickups, sport utility vehicles and at least two trailers.

The $106,000 worth of property was returned that night to the Peerless owner, and 43-year-old Rebecca Ann Bailey was arrested and taken to Rains County jail for second-degree felony theft. A warrant was issued in Rains County for Billy Bailey for possession of more than $100,000 worth stolen property, and three warrants were issued in Hopkins County for his arrest for the Peerless burglaries.

Officers also found a pickup and two four-wheelers determined to have been stolen out of other counties.

On Tuesday morning, the multi-agency team again got lucky again after a tip led them to the Rains County residence of suspect Billy Bailey's brother, who reportedly bought more than $26,000 worth of property from his brother for $1,000. The brother allowed the officers access to the items. Officers were able to confirm the specialty bar stools, set of chairs and two benches covered in cowhide, as well as the EZ Go 2006 Subaru XST Sport II and go cart were those stolen in Peerless two weeks ago. The items were to be returned to the owners Wednesday.

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