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Iola Burglary Victim Seeking Justice as Multi-County Theft Ring Unravels

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

We're learning more and more about the suspects who are investigators say are behind a multi-county theft ring. But tonight -- we learn about one victim who says his ranch was burglarized not once, but twice by some of these men two years ago.

They are the type of people who prey on those who spend their whole lives working hard for everything they own. Instead of getting a job like most hard-working citizens -- during the day -- they instead, spend their time driving around zeroing in on their prey; and at night they make their move.

"The first time he dismantled a gate on county road 106,” explained burglary victim Bill Knotts.

Bill Knotts lives in Huntsville full time; but he and his family spend much of their downtime at their 1600 acre family ranch in Iola.

"My parents bought this property duing the Great Depression, and that wasn't an easy purchase during that time," added Knotts.

“I’ve had two three-wheelers, two trailers, a lot of hand tools, power equipment, and a tractor stolen once and they located the tractor down in Porter, Texas,” said Knotts.

Thieves have burglarized his ranch at least five times in ten years; and in 2011 Knotts' says he had enough.

"In fact I sat over here in these woods for two nights waiting for them to show up, but they didn't after that first burglary,” added Knotts.

Knotts says 300 gallons of diesel fuel and a 16-foot utility trailer were stolen from his property. Six months later the Brazos county Sheriff's Office recovered the stolen trailer. Knotts' trailer was recovered along with a number of other stolen property from surrounding counties located in Brazos County.

“He confessed to stealing the property we lost here and that's the first time I had heard his name,” said Knotts.

Cory Middleton is a name he says he'll never forget.

“I've been waiting for over a year to hear his name on the news, you know, an indictment of some sort, and then his name was on Channel 3 and then I thought, 'that's the same guy that burglarized me in 2011,” explained Knotts.

On August 13, 2011 Middleton was arrested for burglary of a building. He was released after spending 11 days behind bars for the crime, but according to authorities, he was picked back up in Madison County stemming from burglary warrants out of Robertson County.

Middleton along with two others are behind bars indefinitely the trio are some of the main suspects involved in a theft ring involving at least 11 different counties across the state. Grimes, Madison and Brazos Counties authorities expect to make at least half a dozen arrests in the coming days.


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