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2 suspects in East Texas burglary ring allegedly stole property from Polk County hunting camp

Pictured are (top row from left): Jason Ferrill, Richard Neisser, James Wheeler Jr., and Amanda...
Pictured are (top row from left): Jason Ferrill, Richard Neisser, James Wheeler Jr., and Amanda Williford. (Sources: Nacogdoches and Angelina County jail websites)(Nacogdoches and Angelina County jail websites)
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 11:13 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 12:04 PM CST
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POLK COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Two of the four suspects in a burglary and theft ring that were arrested after a joint investigation by multiple East Texas law enforcement agencies allegedly stole a travel trailer, a Honda all-terrain vehicle, and hunting and camping equipment from a north Polk County hunting camp.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives investigated the thefts on Dec. 20, 2021.

According to a press release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Lufkin Police Department detectives contacted the PCSO on Dec. 27, 2021, and passed on information that Richard Thomas Neisser, 28, of Henderson, and James Tad Wheeler Jr., 36, of Corrigan, had been arrested in connection to two skid steers that were stolen from Texas Timberjack.

Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for the Wheeler residence in Polk County,” the press release stated. “The investigation led to the recovery of multiple other stolen items located at the Wheeler residence.”

PCSO detectives found a Jeep Wrangler that had been stolen in Angelina County, along with the Honda ATV and pieces of hunting and camping equipment that had been stolen in Polk County, the press release stated. They also found a stolen crossbow that was linked to a case that was being investigated by the Pct. 4 constable’s office in Nacogdoches County.

Pct. 4 Constable David Stone recovered property at the Neisser residence in Rusk County that was linked back to the theft that occurred in Polk County.

“Richard Neisser and James Wheeler Jr. were both charged with two counts of felony theft and a burglary of habitation out of Polk County,” the press release stated.

The four suspects allegedly stole 4-wheelers, golf carts, tractors, logging equipment, guns, laptops, vehicles, game cameras, tools, and other miscellaneous items, according to David Stone, the Precinct 4 constable for Nacogdoches County.

Jason Carl Ferrill, 25, and Amanda Brooke Williford, 23, both of Henderson, are still being held in the Nacogdoches County Jail. Ferrill has been charged with four counts of engaging in organized criminal activity, two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and theft of property between $750 and $2,500. Williford has been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.

No bond amounts have been set for Ferrill or Williford’s charges yet.

Neisser and James Tad Wheeler are still being held in the Angelina County Jail.

Neisser has been charged with four counts of engaging in organized criminal activity, two counts of theft of property between $30K and $150K, two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, burglary of a habitation, burglary of a building, and two counts of theft of property between $750 and $2,500.

Wheeler has been charged with two counts of theft of property between $30K and $150K, burglary of a habitation, and burglary of a building.

Neisser’s bail amount has been set at $76,500 for two of his charges, and Wheeler’s bond amount has been set at $75,000 for one of the theft charges.

Stone said that 15 arrest warrants have been issued in connection to the case. He added that more charges may be pending. He added that Neisser and Wheeler have Nacogdoches County arrest warrants that are waiting to be served once Angelina County is done with them.

The Pct. 4 constable said the investigation started on Dec. 17 after there was a string of break-ins and RVs in the area of FM 95 near Chireno. Stone said they got a break in the investigation when a gun stolen in one of the burglaries turned up in San Antonio.

Stone said one of his deputies did a lot of the work associated with the investigation.

“My guys did a great job,” Stone said. “It took a lot of legwork and a lot of interviews. It also took going around and talking to the people they sold the property to.”

Stone said he and his deputies worked and shared information with law enforcement agencies in Angelina Nacogdoches, Polk, and Rusk counties. The Pct. 4 constable said one lead would result in another.

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