Two arrested for breaking into military family's home, selling their property in yard sale

February 1, 2012 3:51:29 AM PST
When military men and women leave home to serve the country, they expect to return to their homes once their tour of duty is over. But a military couple in the Liberty County town of Splendora almost lost their home to squatters who've been arrested for more than just taking over the couple's house.

It was an unusual call for the Liberty County Sheriff's Office, but even more disturbing for homeowner Hollie Burbank.

"It makes me sick," Burbank said.

The home that's been in Burbank's family for three generations had some uninvited guests all while she, her husband Sam and two children have been stationed at Fort Hood.

"They just walked in trying to take over my house and that's just not right," she said.

Sam, an eight-year veteran soldier, just returned from a third tour in Iraq.

Sheriff's deputies say 30-year-old Faylisa Bailey and 47-year-old Johnny Bell had been living in the home, and that's not all.

"It just hit me hard, I mean all this stuff was out in the yard," Burbank said.

They were trying to make some money at the same time. It was a relative who actually tipped off the homeowner as they were passing by and saw a recliner chair, a table, even a mattress, all in the front yard and for sale.

When sheriff's deputies arrived on Tuesday, they even found customers looking the items over at the yard sale.

"It's very disturbing to know that man is serving his country and risking his life for us, and to have somebody force their way into his home while he's away and then to literally put his stuff out in the yard and just sell it -- it's very disturbing," said Capt. Rex Evans with the Liberty Co. Sheriff's Office.

Inside the home, deputies say there was evidence of drug use from needles to meth.

Burbank will now return home from Fort Hood to see what's left to salvage, while Bailey and Bell sit in the Liberty County Jail on drug possession and burglary charges.

"I want to see if I can salvage any of my grandmother's angels that were there," Burbank said. "I hope that nothing like this happens to anybody, ever."