Hearne police chief removes himself from burglary case due to conflict of interest

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HEARNE, Tex. (KBTX) - The Hearne Police Chief says he has removed himself from a vehicle burglary case because he is related to one of the persons of interest. That suspect is his son.

Last week, several cars were burglarized on the 600 block of Wheelock Street. Victims say several items were stolen, including a 9mm Taurus handgun.

Monica and Nathan Jones live on Wheelock Street. Three of their cars were burglarized. They say several of their neighbors' cars were also targeted.

When the two alleged thieves went to the house across the street from the Jones home, the burglary spree came to an end. The people who live there reportedly came outside, and saw what was happening.

Monica and Nathan say they recognized the suspects.

"We were told they were going to call the police department and report all of that, which they did. In that moment is when we were first notified of any names, and that is when we received that one of the individuals was indeed the chief of police's son,” said Monica.

Chief Thomas Williams did not want to speak on camera, but he says he is aware of the accusations against his son. He says that is why he chose to remove himself from the case.

Hearne officers are still investigating the case. The Joneses believe that is a conflict of interest.

"Once his son was implicated, I do not believe they should have investigated anymore at all. I think it should have been turned over to the District Attorney or the Robertson County Sheriff's Department. Someone else. But definitely not within the Hearne Police Department,” said Monica.

The Joneses say they are very concerned about all this, especially since a handgun was taken from one of their vehicles.

Hearne police says all cars that were burglarized were unlocked.

The Hearne City Manager released a statement saying:
“The City of Hearne understands that we have had several car doors opened and items have been stolen in our neighborhoods. It is my understanding that the Chief has increased patrols during these times and we have repaired several street lights in an attempt to stop such behavior. There is an ongoing investigation. Please be patient as the Hearne Police gather evidence.”

Hearne Police say the investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made at this point.