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Houston County Courier - Local News

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Crockett police nab ‘Panty Bandit’
Houston County Courier

By Lynda Jones

A 45-year-old Grapeland man allegedly has admitted to stealing a master key from the ETMC Crockett maintenance office, entering the building through a door on the roof, stealing photographs from offices, engaging in sexual behavior in hospital restrooms as well as stealing panties from laundromats. William Michael “Billy” Martin was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 8 and charged with three counts of Burglary of a Building, but Crockett Police Chief David “Buddy” Cross anticipates additional charges being made as the investigation continues. Cross interviewed Martin Friday, Jan. 4, after speaking with hospital personnel about incidents that have occurred over the past several months. The most recent events reportedly occurred on or about Dec. 26 and on or about Dec. 30. On Dec. 26, CPD was dispatched to ETMC Crockett in reference to a suspicious person. Martin was located and issued a Criminal Trespass Warning for ETMC Crockett, with the exceptions for medical emergencies only. In the early morning hours of Dec. 27, Martin was arrested after CPD received a complaint of a prowler outside Community Care Center of Crockett. At that time Martin was charged with failure to show his driver’s license when asked. Records from the Houston County Jail indicate Martin was released on Dec. 29. During an investigative interview with Cross on Jan. 4, Martin admitted to stealing a master key from the locked maintenance office at ETMC Crockett, according to the arrest affidavit. Cross reported in the arrest affidavit that he located in Martin’s apartment several photographs that Martin allegedly admitted to stealing off the nursing school’s bulletin board. Cross further stated in the arrest affidavit, “Billy also had dirty pornographic magazines laid out with the photographs and had stacks of female panties next to the magazines on his bed. I asked Billy where he had gotten all the panties and he told me that he had stolen them. He told me that he would go into laundromats in Crockett, Huntsville and Conroe and steal the panties when the owners were not looking.” According to the arrest affidavit, Martin admitted to Cross that Martin used the panties while performing sexual behavior. Cross said the CPD is contacting the police departments in Huntsville and Conroe to collaborate on the alleged confessed thefts of panties from laundromats in those cities. Since the story about Martin was aired on an East Texas television station, another city in East Texas has contacted CPD about similar situations they are investigating that may be linked to Martin. Cross said the CPD objective is to keep citizens safe from Martin, saying he plans to file as many charges as applicable. The Crockett police chief also said of Martin, “He’s got a lot of issues.”


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