BURNET — A wanted man who surprised a woman in her own kitchen before fleeing got a one-way ticket to the Burnet County Jail, Sheriff W.T. Smith said.
"It was a scary situation," Smith said about the episode Sept. 26 in south Burnet County. "She heard a noise in her garage and when she went to check on it, she found this strange man standing in her kitchen."
The man — later identified as a convicted felon named in a warrant— moved in her direction, Smith added.
"She told him to leave, but he started to take a few steps toward her," the sheriff said Sept. 27. "Then she yelled, ‘Get out of my house.’ And he left."
The woman, who was not injured, provided deputies with the man’s description and the license plate of his car.
Deputy Jesse Canchola spotted a vehicle on Texas 71 matching the description given by the woman, officials said. The deputy pulled it over, the sheriff added.
"When deputies searched the vehicle they found a gun and some credit cards that were stolen from a vehicle the night before," Smith said. "When we checked the serial number of the gun recovered against the one reported stolen, they matched. And the credit cards were from the residence where the vehicle burglary was reported."
Charles Floyd Murley III, 27, of Granite Shoals is charged with burglary of a habitation, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, theft of a firearm and debit/credit card abuse, deputies said.
He remained in the jail Sept. 27 without bond.
He is also no stranger to law enforcement, according to records.
Murley pleaded guilty July 17, 2009, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone, according to court documents. He was sentenced to six years deferred adjudication.
The Granite Shoals resident also pleaded guilty in May to felony debit/credit card charges and was placed on four years probation, according to court documents. Authorities filed a motion to revoke that probation Sept. 10, according to records. Deputies said a warrant also was issued.
Smith said the episode is a reminder to residents to keep their homes secured.
"A lot of us have a certain sense of security in our homes that, ‘This is my space,’" he said. "But if your door is unlocked, people will take advantage of it. There are criminals who go house to house ringing doorbells and knocking on doors. If nobody answers, they’ll check for unlocked doors and windows. Then it only takes a matter of minutes to take your stuff."
While there are several ways to deter criminals, Smith said one of the easiest is also the simplest.
"Lock your doors and windows," he said.