LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Trinity County Sheriff's Office arrested the 36-year-old owner of a lawn care service on Tuesday in connection to allegations that he hired someone to keep his tractor, so he could report it stolen.
The man also allegedly hired men to steal two zero-turn mowers and other lawn equipment out of a storage unit.
Reginald Knouse, of Trinity, was arrested and charged with state-jail felony insurance fraud and third-degree engaging in organized criminal activity, according to Chief Deputy Tommy Park with the Trinity County Sheriff's Office.
Park said that on May 10, Knouse reported that his Kubota tractor, which has an estimated value of $40,000, was stolen. Three days later, Knouse allegedly told authorities that two zero-turn mowers and other law equipment was stolen from a storage unit.
At that point, Park went to Shepherd and Cleveland to investigate and got some leads on where all of the stolen items went. He recovered everything in Liberty County and arrested two people.
During the investigation, authorities learned that it had all been a setup, Park said. He said because Knouse's tractor had a problem with it, he hired someone to keep it on his property, so he could report it stolen.
Later, Knouse hired some men to steal the mowers and lawn equipment from the storage unit, Park said.
Park said four suspects, including Knouse, have been arrested so far, and they are looking for a fifth suspect.
Shelton Wayne Bounds, 39, of New Caney, Travis James Dyer, 29, of Trinity, and Justin Wayne Gulley, 30, of Conroe, were all arrested on theft charges, and engaging in organized criminal activity charges could be pending.
A Trinity County grand jury indicted Knouse on a felony continuous sexual assault charge in August of 2015 in connection to allegations that he sexually assaulted a young girl multiple times from June 17, 2003 to June 16, 2012.
A Texas Ranger arrested Knouse at a home in the Rancho Viejo subdivision in Trinity County on Aug. 5, 2015.
Knouse's court date for the continuous sexual assault of a child charge is still pending.