Photo: arrest of Stephen Merle Houk
BARSTOW – The two-day manhunt for an RV pursuit fugitive by Major Crimes Bureau detectives following leads through multiple counties has ended without incident. Suspect Stephen Merle Houk (46) was located on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 at approximately 4:30 PM while hiding in an empty railroad car in a Barstow rail yard located on the 200 Block of North Avenue H.
The “Armed and Dangerous Parolee at Large” white male, 46, 5’11” tall, 190 lbs., with brown hair and hazel eyes and a cow skull tattoo on his right forearm was wanted for sex crimes out of the state of Oregon (WNO #14556869), and wanted out of Santa Clarita for assault with a deadly weapon, child abduction, terrorist threats, and evading. Prior to the capture, he was last seen in the Bakersfield / Shafter area on foot.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell and Major Crimes Bureau Captain Eddie Hernandez announced yesterday, “Suspect Houk was transported to Lancaster Sheriff’s Station where he is being held for kidnapping with the use of a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, domestic violence, child endangerment, and felony evading; totaling 14 felony counts. His bail was set at $1 million.” Hernandez commented that Houk’s potential sentence, “if convicted on all counts, could be up to 75 years in prison.”
The combined resources and efforts of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau Fugitive Task Force Detectives, the US Marshals Services, the Kern County Sheriff’s Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Barstow Police Department and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF Railway) Police, made possible the locating and arrest of Suspect Houk.
Said Sheriff McDonnell, “The jurisdictional lines are an impediment if you let them be, but if you have the partnerships and you work well with other agencies, as we saw in this case, they are not an impediment and we were very effective in our ability to be able to track this individual and take him into custody.”
Sheriff McDonnell commended the collaborative effort between many law enforcement agencies spanning several counties and the news media for their continued efforts in keeping dangerous criminals off the streets.
Since the investigation is ongoing, any information is urged by calling the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau at (213) 229-1850. To provide information anonymously, call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store, or via the website http://lacrimestoppers.org