KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — A firearm reported stolen out of Kaufman County was recovered during a multi-county theft and narcotics investigation in southeast Texas.
According to a press release from the Polk County Sheriff's Office earlier today, the firearm, a Ruger .45-caliber pistol, was among property recovered after authorities responded to a theft and altercation call involving a firearm on April 21, 2021.
Police responding to the call on Garden Villas Drive in Onalaska, Texas, made contact with two children — ages 13 and nine. The children told police their parents had left them home alone while they traveled out of town.
After developing probable cause, detectives with the Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety obtained and executed a search warrant for the property and a travel trailer on the property.
"The children’s mother and father, identified as Cody Norton and Cynthia Hodges, were found hiding under a bed inside the travel trailer," stated the sheriff's office.
In addition to the stolen firearm out of Kaufman County, investigators determined the travel trailer was stolen from a dealership in College Station, Texas; and two Sea-Doo watercrafts and the keys to another watercraft were stolen out of San Jacinto County, Texas. Some of the stolen property has since been returned to its owners but, investigators are still working to determine ownership on numerous other items.
"This investigation is ongoing due to the amount of possible stolen property that has been recovered ranging from tools to electronics and Detectives are diligently attempting to identify the owners of this property," stated the sheriff's office.
Aside from the stolen property, investigators located a small amount of marijuana and a large amount of methamphetamine, read the release.
Norton, who is a convicted felon, was also found to be in possession of a forged Texas driver's license and two shotguns.
Norton and Hodges were charged with theft of property, child endangerment, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of a stolen firearm. Norton was additionally charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by felon and forgery of a government instrument.
"The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to mark your personal property with unique identifying marks or ownership markings," continued the release. "By marking your valuables, you’ll make it easier for law enforcement to locate and return your property in the event of a burglary or theft. Notifying law enforcement of any unique identifying marks (such as scratches, dents, stains, etc.) will also help in recovering stolen property."
Any information you may have in this case or any other case in Polk County, please submit a tip at p3tips.com, (the P3 App), or call Polk County Crime Stoppers at 936-327-STOP, where you can remain anonymous and may collect a cash reward for information leading to an arrest. You may also contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division directly and speak to a Detective, at 936-327-6810.