ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office arrested a 47-year-old man on July 29 in connection to allegations he stole a FEMA trailer that had been converted into a tiny house from a woman back in April.
William Dean Plunk, of Lufkin, was booked into the Angelina County Jail on a state-jail felony theft between $1,500 and $20,000 charge and five misdemeanor traffic charges - display expired license plates, operate a motorcycle without approved headgear, no motorcycle operator's license, speeding, and expired registration.
He was released from the county jail later on July 29 after he posted bail. The bail amount for his felony charge was not listed, but the collective bail amount for the misdemeanor charges was $2,589.43.
According to the arrest affidavit East Texas News obtained Wednesday, an ACSO deputy was dispatched out to the 200 block of Attoyac Road in the River Crest community on April 28 to take a theft report.
The victim told the deputy that she had parked a FEMA trailer at the address on Attoyac Road that her "future ex-husband" had converted into a tiny house. The trailer was 28 feet long, almost 14 feet tall, and 7 feet wide.
The woman told the ACSO deputy that the property where the tiny house had been parked was owned by Plunk, a friend of hers. She also told the deputy that she had obtained a temporary court order to be in possession of the house until the final divorce decree.
According to the arrest affidavit, the victim told the ACSO that the trailer had been at the property on April 15 when she went to check on it. However, it was gone when she went back to the property on April 28.
The woman told the deputy that she was going to take the air conditioning unit out of the home and take it to her current residence in Diboll. However, when she went to were the trailer had been located the next day, it was gone, the affidavit stated.
The tiny house has an estimated value of $15,000, according to the affidavit.
In the affidavit, the ACSO detective that took over the case said he tried to contact Plunk, whom he knew from previous law enforcement encounters, by phone and was unable to do so. He also had trouble getting in touch with the victim.
Later, the ACSO was contacted by the victim's ex-husband. The man explained he had no idea why his tiny house was in the River Crest community and said he had heard of the trailer being pulled behind a white-colored truck traveling toward Huntington on U.S. Highway 69.
Further investigation revealed that Plunk had a brother that once lived in the Huntington area, and the ACSO detective searched the part of the county where Plunk used to live several times, but wasn't able to find the trailer.
The victim's ex-husband told the detective that he had been awarded the house in the divorce, and that they had posted information about the house being stolen on Facebook.
"[The victim's ex-husband] informed me multiple times of information from the Facebook post of sightings of his tiny house at multiple locations throughout Angelina County," the affidavit stated.
However, when the ACSO detective went to those locations, he couldn't find the trailer.
Later, the detective spoke to Plunk at a gas station, and he said he didn't know what happened to the house even though it had been parked at his property, the affidavit stated.
On June 19, a sergeant from the Hardin County Sheriff's Office contacted the Angelina County Sheriff's Office and said that he heard the house was on a property there. An HCSO deputy went there later and found the stolen trailer.
According to the affidavit, Plunk called the ACSO deputy later that day and said, "OK, here's the deal with that building. That chick owed me money." In a follow-up call, Plunk allegedly said the woman who owned the home had it in a trailer park in Burke.
Plunk also told the ACSO detective that the woman was being evicted and at the last minute, he and a friend moved the trailer to his property at the victim's request, the affidavit stated. He also allegedly told the detective that she told him she wanted to live in the trailer on his property for several months, and he tried to help her by installing an electrical pole near the trailer.
Later, Plunk told the deputy that he wound up pulling it away from the property because the victim "pretty much" abandoned it and refused to pay the money she owed him, the affidavit stated. He also said he sold the trailer to a man in Kountze for $1,000.
The affidavit stated that the Hardin County Sheriff's Office report stated that the victim's ex-husband had contacted the agency and passed on information that the tiny house was located at 660 Jones Road. The person in possession of the trailer was the person Plunk said he had sold it to, the affidavit stated.