3 burglary suspects caught in Friendswood; may be linked to others

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on August 4, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Updated Sunday, Aug 4 at 6:26 PM

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas – Three people were arrested in connection with a home burglary Saturday in Galveston County, and may be linked to others, police said.

Himel Johnson III, 24; Bria Smith, 19; and Cleveland John Batiste III, 20, all of Houston, are charged with burglary of a habitation. Smith is also charged with possession of marijuana after an officer found marijuana tucked under her hair extensions.

According to the Friendswood Police Department, the owner of a home in the 1200 block of Merriewood said she heard a noise coming from the master bedroom just before 6 p.m. and saw a man removing the screen from the window. The woman banged on the window from the inside and the man ran away.

At the same time, a neighbor was calling police about the burglary suspects, police said. The witnesses provided a description of the suspects and a possible getaway vehicle, a gray Mercury Mariner, that was parked a couple of blocks away.

The neighbor also told police, which direction the suspect vehicle headed after fleeing the scene.

A Friendswood officer spotted the Mariner as it got onto Interstate 45 from FM 2351. With the help of Texas Department of Public Safety and League City police, the officer stopped the vehicle as it headed south on I-45 near FM 646.

A short time later, the neighbor was able to positively identify Smith as the woman she saw at the residence, and driving off in the SUV.

All three suspects were taken into custody, police said. They were transferred to the Galveston County Jail.

The officers, who were inventorying the getaway vehicle, found a laptop computer and jewelry, police said. They were able to identify the computer as belonging to a resident in the 1800 block of Streamside in the Eagle Lakes subdivision.

Officers contacted that victim, who said she did not know her home had been burglarized. It appeared that the suspects entered through the master bedroom window.

Police said the suspects took the laptop from the kitchen. Jewelry and cash were also taken along with two pillow cases.

After the suspects were interviewed, officers went to a dumpster behind Perry’s Grille and Stonesthrow Washateria. Buried beneath the restaurant garbage, an officer retrieved two pillowcases full of discarded jewelry stolen from the Streamside home.

Johnson is being held on a $25,000 bond, while Smith and Batiste are being held on bonds of $11, 000 and $10,000, respectively.

This is the second time that the Merriewood home has been hot in the last month, police said. Demond Jermeil Momon, 21, of Houston and Tierra Nicole Allen, 20, of Humble, were arrested and charged in the incident, which happened on July 5.

Investigators will also be following up to see if the two groups of burglars are connected.

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