Police: Panty bandit arrested for Crockett hospital burglaries

Published: Jan. 10, 2013 at 5:32 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2013 at 10:17 PM CST
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William Martin (Source: Houston County Jail)
William Martin (Source: Houston County Jail)

CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - Editor's note: This story contains graphic sexual language.

Crockett Police officers arrested a 45-year-old man and charged him with three counts of burglary Thursday morning after he allegedly climbed into the East Texas Medical Center hospital through a roof entrance, stole a set of master keys, and went to various offices and rooms where he stole photographs and masturbated.

Further investigation revealed that William "Billy" Michael Martin, of Grapeland, stole women's lingerie from laundromats in Crockett, Huntsville, and Conroe. When Crockett Police officers searched his apartment, they also found pornographic magazines laid out next to the stolen photographs and stacks of women's panties.

"There's a lot of weird sexual deviant stuff involved in this case," David Cross, the chief of the Crockett Police Department, said, "This guy has major issues. When we interviewed him, he admitted to a lot of additional things."

Martin is still being held in the Houston County Jail on three counts of burglary of a habitation, which is a state jail felony. No bond has been set at this time.

According to the arrest affidavit, Cross met with ETMC Crockett's director of nurses and the hospital's administrator on Jan. 4. Both people told the police chief that the hospital, which is located at 1100 Loop 304 East, has had several burglaries in the past several months. In addition, the ETMC officials told Cross that a male suspect had been entering the hospital, especially in its administration offices and nursing training facility late at night without permission.

The hospital officials said the man had somehow gotten on the roof of the hospital and entered the closed-off areas of the hospital late at night. In addition to walking in on women in the ladies restrooms and scaring them, the man allegedly burglarized the director of nurses' office on or about Dec. 23, 2012, took two photographs from her wall and masturbated on her floor, leaving a trail of semen, according to the affidavit. She told Cross that two ceiling tiles were broken and that the man entered her office through the ceiling.

"At some point, he saw a few nurses there, and he had, I guess, some sort of fixation, and from that point on he would break in and go into their particular offices and steal their photographs off the wall," Cross said.

Further investigation revealed that on the night of Dec. 26, 2012, a housekeeper working upstairs in the ETMC clinic went to the bathroom and got a scare when a man walked in on her.

The hospital's administrator told Cross that other staff members at ETMC Crockett reported that their offices had been entered without permission and photographs had been taken from them as well. ETMC's chief maintenance man also reported someone had taken several master keys from his office.

On Jan. 4, Cross met with the hospital's maintenance chief. The man brought with him six master keys that had been returned to him by the Crockett PD. As it turns, out officers took the keys from Martin early in the morning of Dec. 27.

Later that day, an ETMC employee called the Crockett PD and said Martin's van had been spotted behind W.A. Brown Realty in Grapeland. Cross called the Grapeland PD chief and told him he was on his way. He followed the chief to an apartment in the 200 block of East Plum.

When Cross questioned Martin, he allegedly admitted to stealing the master keys and breaking into the nursing director's office through the ceiling.

"He told me he had a thing for blond girls," Cross said in the arrest affidavit. "He denied masturbation in [the director'] office, but did tell me he would masturbate in the restrooms at the hospital."

Martin also admitted to entering into the nursing training facility room at the hospital with one of the master keys he had stolen. He allegedly told Cross that he stripped naked in the room and was about to masturbate when he stopped. At some point, he allegedly took several photographs off the nursing students' bulletin board in the hallway.

After Martin gave consent for Cross to search his residence, Cross located several of the photos that Martin reportedly took from the bulletin board. They were on the floor of the living room next to a mattress.

In the affidavit, Cross said Martin also had pornographic photos laid next to some of the photos and stacks of women's panties. Martin allegedly admitted to stealing them from laundromats in Crockett, Huntsville, and Conroe when the owners weren't looking.

"Billy admitted that he liked the way the panties felt and sniffed them during masturbation," Cross said in the affidavit. "I also noticed that he had several inflated beach balls on the bed next to the stack of panties."

When Cross questioned Martin about the beach balls, the man allegedly told him that he would put on a dress and put one of the beach balls under it and pretend he was pregnant.

According to the affidavit, Martin already had numerous arrests on his records, including a burglary, two indecent exposures, and one public lewdness.

The stolen photos from the hospital and the stolen panties were taken as evidence. Martin also allegedly had a large bag of "bras and other female items" he had stolen from the laundromat in Huntsville.

Cross also searched Martin's van, which was parked down the road from his apartment.

"The safety of our patients and staff is a top priority," Deleisa Johnson, the marketing manager for ETMC, said in an e-mailed statement. ""These events are disturbing, and in light of them, we have taken extra measures to secure our facilities."

Cross told the East Texas News that the case is still under investigation. However, he will be working with Houston County's district attorney to make sure Martin stays behind bars.

"He appears to be a very dangerous individual," Cross said. "We're going to do whatever we can to protect our community, and make sure than he stays behind bars as long as the law allows."

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