State

Woman with Houck ties arrested for stealing ‘Prayers’ sign

Crystal Maupin was arrested Friday afternoon after a warrant was issued regarding a July 8 theft of a sign near an area gas station.
Crystal Maupin was arrested Friday afternoon after a warrant was issued regarding a July 8 theft of a sign near an area gas station.

After numerous signs supporting Crystal Rogers went missing earlier this month — many found damaged — surveillance video has allegedly linked at least one of the thefts to a woman with ties to Brooks Houck.

The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office was reportedly provided video of Crystal Maupin pumping gas at a store, then pulling around, exiting the vehicle and taking the sign. A transaction receipt for the gas came back to a MasterCard for Brooks Houck, according to the complaint warrant. Houck is a suspect in the 2015 disappearance of his then-girlfriend, Crystal Rogers, for whom the signs were created and placed in different areas around the county.

Some of the signs include ‘Prayers for Crystal,’ ‘Justice for Crystal,’ and ‘Standing with the Ballards,’ a nod to Rogers’ family who also lost Rogers’ father, Tommy Ballard, in November.

The sign is valued at $25, according to the warrant. It does not specifically state the nature of the sign Maupin is accused of stealing, but sources close to the investigation said it was one of the signs reading, “Standing with the Ballards.” While other signs were taken that night, the warrant states no other proof has been offered to connect Maupin to the other thefts.

Several residents reported the signs missing or finding them damaged after July 8 in the areas of Caney Fork, Cormans Crossing and Spencer Mattingly Lane, among other locations. This is not the first issue with the signs.

In March 2016, shortly after the signs were created and placed by area residents, the Ballards received reports of several “Crystal signs” being plucked from yards. Witnesses claimed to have seen a woman taking the signs and loading them into a car. The family initially contacted the County Attorney’s Office about possibly pressing charges against the woman, but the case was later dropped. Some of those signs were recovered from a dumpster, according to the family.

The most recent string of sign thefts came just days after the two-year anniversary of Rogers’ disappearance. A prayer service was held for the mother of five at St. Thomas Parish the evening of July 5. Prior to that service, a procession of cars caravaned to the parish. Videos posted to social media showed a line of vehicles slowly driving past Houck’s home blaring their horns.

  Comments