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The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Major Crimes Bureau Fugitive Task Force Detectives, in a joint effort with the US Marshals Services, and with the assistance of Kern County Sheriff's Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Barstow Police Department and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF Railway) Police, located and arrested Suspect Stephen Merle Houk.

The suspect was located in a rail yard at 200 North Avenue H, in the city of Barstow. He was hiding inside a compartment of an empty rail car where detectives from the Fugitive Task Force took him into custody without incident.

Suspect Houk was transported to Lancaster Sheriff’s Station where he was booked for kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, domestic violence, and various other charges. 

The investigation is ongoing and at this point the weapon has not been recovered.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department would like to thank both the federal and local law enforcement agencies, the railroad police and personnel, and the public news media outlets, for their continued efforts in assisting law enforcement in keeping dangerous criminals like this off the streets.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Major Crimes Bureau at (213) 229-1850. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may 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 by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org