by ANDY SEVILLA
Two men were arrested late last week in unconnected burglaries of at least 11 homes and a Dollar General store in east Kyle.
Branson Scott Musselman, 19, was arrested and charged Thursday with 10 counts of burglary of habitation, each a second-degree felony. Those offenses occurred between Oct. 10 and Oct. 29, according to Hays County records.
Police had been patrolling residential subdivisions near Lehman High School after receiving repeated burglary calls, and on Oct. 30 arrested Musselman after being called out on a burglary in progress.
Kyle Police Det. Adam Watson said a homeowner arrived at his residence to find Musselman in action.
Watson said the homeowner called police as Musselman fled the scene, but Watson and his partner, Det. Joseph Swonke, who were patrolling the area, apprehended the alleged burglar shortly after spotting him nearby.
“Upon talking to (Musselman) he confessed that, yeah, he had been in the house. We found some evidence linking him to being in that house, as well as finding evidence in his vehicle and his residence linking him to other burglaries,” Watson said.
Musselman was arrested and released the next day with a $15,000 bond.
Musselman now is back in custody after Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Beth Smith issued warrants for his arrest in connection with 10 burglaries in at least three different residential neighborhoods – Southlake Ranch, Kensington Trails and Steeplechase.
Musselman is being held on a $100,000 bond.
Watson said the warrants were issued after much cooperation from Musselman and his attorney as to where to find the stolen items, coupled with the police investigation and the gathering of evidence.
“Once we felt like we had everything we needed, then we went ahead and submitted the warrants,” Watson said. “So that’s why there’s a gap in time from the offense dates and the Nov. 29 arrest.”
Watson said the stolen property recovered by the police – electronics, computers, televisions, jewelry, watches and money – has been returned to the owners, including one firearm Musselman had in the trunk of his car.
Watson said the police still have not been able to recover three, possibly four, firearms that have been reported stolen from those homes, and he said there are a few recovered items that are not linked with the burglaries in Kyle.
Watson said his department has been in contact with surrounding agencies in an effort to identify the owners of the remaining property.
Watson said “random homes” were targeted. He said the alleged perpetrator checked for homes with no cars in the driveway, homes with no lights on or without alarm systems. He also checked to see if anybody was inside the targeted residences.
“In a lot of cases, what people will do is, if the driveway of the home they were targeting is empty, and then the driveway on either side of those homes is empty, they typically would go for the one in the middle…so that chances of being seen by someone are even less,” Watson said.
In an unrelated burglary, Steven Dwayne McGlothern, 38, was arrested Friday by the Hays County Sheriff’s Office on a warrant for a burglary of a building in Kyle, a state jail felony, that allegedly occurred almost two years ago, plus on three other separate warrants.
McGlothern allegedly burglarized a Dollar General store at 801 FM 150 East in Feb. 15, 2011. While investigating that burglary, police found blood just above the door of the store manager’s office and that blood was sent to a lab for testing, according to Watson.
The DNA analysis of the blood matched the DNA on file for McGlothern and police then issued a warrant for McGlothern’s DNA to confirm the match, Watson said.
In his Nov. 30 arrest, McGlothern was also charged with a burglary of habitation for which the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has placed a hold on him, as well as indictments for burglary of a building and escape.
McGlothern is being held on a $55,000 bond, $25,000 of which is for the alleged burglary of a Kyle Dollar General store.
According to Hays County records, McGlothern was arrested July 29, 2011, and in Feb. 22, 2012, for burglaries of a building and habitation in Kyle, respectively, among other charges.