An employee of a self-storage business in north Parsons saw an apparent burglary in progress Monday morning and called police. The call and the subsequent investigation led to two arrests and the recovery of stolen property.

The report came in at 9:24 a.m. Monday by an observant employee of Center Self Storage, 1425 N. 16th St.

Officers found two men apparently burglarizing a storage facility. Officers detained both men.

The subsequent investigation confirmed that the two men had burglarized a storage unit and were apparently in the process of stealing property. Police contacted the victim and she confirmed that the men had her property.

Officers arrested Jason Rakestraw, 38, and Thomas Houdashelt, 41, both of Pittsburg.

Police also seized and searched a vehicle. The search resulted in the return of the victim’s property, including family photographs and documents, clothing and other items. The search also turned up drugs, drug paraphernalia and burglary tools.

Rakestraw and Houdashelt are being held on suspicion of burglary, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft and criminal damage.

Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks said this is another example of an alert citizen reporting a crime in-progress. The motto of see it, hear it, report it works, Chief Spinks said, and continues to yield results when the public teams with the police.

“I am proud of all the officers involved in this case from the patrol officers to the detectives who pulled together a great felony case for the prosecutor to now run with. Unfortunately, this is another example of people who are not connected to the Parsons community coming to town thinking they can prey upon our citizens. It didn’t work this time, and we’ll continue to arrest, deter and deflect the criminal element from Parsons.”

Acting Commander Kyle Wiford said, “This kind of case is hard to follow up on, but the officers involved showed good initiative and charged forward with the investigation getting enough information to apply for a search warrant. I am proud of the patrol officers involved for clearing this case and taking the suspects into custody so quickly.”

This continues to be an ongoing investigation and citizens are encouraged to see it, hear it, report it. Anyone with further information on this incident or any other criminal activity can contact the Parsons Police Department at 421-7060, call the tip line at 421-7057 or email

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