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Investigators track down home invasion suspects, arrest four

By Brandon Evans | Published Saturday, October 5, 2013

Four suspects in the violent Sept. 16 home invasion of an Alvord man were arrested Tuesday by investigators with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

William H. Williams

Three suspects were captured in Montague County, and the fourth was tracked down in McKinney.

Officers found William H. Williams, 20, of Bowie, hiding in the attic of a friend’s home in Forestburg. Michael Hilt, 24, of Bowie was arrested Tuesday night in Bowie, along with Erica M. Gauna, 21, also of Bowie. Robert A. Brown, 27, was arrested Tuesday night in McKinney.

Video surveillance set up inside the 39-year-old victim’s home captured images of the three suspects, who were wearing what looked like surgical masks, breaking into his home in the middle of the night while he was asleep. Video showed the three, one who was armed with a knife, violently attacking the man in his bed and one striking him with a chair. The victim’s two dogs are seen looking on as the victim thrashes his legs.

Michael Hilt

But the homewoner fought back, and the assailants scattered almost as quickly as they had appeared. Gauna reportedly did not enter the house but stayed outside in the vehicle during the robbery and was possibly the getaway driver.

Working on any tips and leads they could get, criminal investigators at WCSO managed to track down and arrest all those believed to be involved in the 3 a.m. attack.

“Our entire CID team did a fantastic job working this case and taking any possible lead we had,” said Wise County Sheriff David Walker. “We had some people call after they saw the video.”

Walker said they are still trying to discover why the suspects picked out this particular home on Wickham Street.

Erica M. Gauna

“I still don’t believe this is a random crime,” Walker said. “There had to be some kind of connection.”

He said the suspects are all cooperating at this point. All four were taken to Wise County Jail and charged with burglary of a habitation. Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Judge Terri Johnson set their bail at $150,000 each. They remained in custody as of Friday morning.

Williams, formerly of Bridgeport, had multiple drug-related arrests in Wise County over the past two years. Brown, who used to live in Bowie, had an outstanding traffic-related warrant out of Wise County.

Robert A. Brown

The homeowner used to rent out rooms in his home to tenants and had the video camera system installed to deter theft.

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