The Erath County Sheriff's Department is asking for the public's help in locating Bradley Ryan Horton, 37, a Big Spring resident and known thief investigators believe is preying on Erath County residents.

The sheriff's department is investigating "numerous" reports of a man who identifies himself as a landscaper specializing in tree trimming who offers his services door-to-door both in the city of Stephenville and in Erath County. He reportedly knocks on doors and when there is no reply, steals property - including at least two four-wheelers, said sheriff's investigator Sgt. Bob Gonzales.

Horton was last seen in the Brownwood area, but his whereabouts remain unknown, according to Sheriff Tommy Bryant. He has reportedly distributed business cards in the area.

"If anyone has any contact information or business cards, we need that information," Bryant said.

Horton is also believed to have stolen a trailer in Brown County and other property in Erath County.

"He has hit us here before I suspect," Gonzales said.

Horton is wanted in Howard County for grand larceny and has a criminal history - including theft charges and driving while intoxicated - in Brown, Mills, Taylor and Erath Counties.

Horton has no ties to Horton Tree Trimming Company of Fort Worth that services customers in Erath County, Bryant said.

Bryant continues advising residents to err on the side of caution when dealing with people you do not know.

"This brings up a safety issue. The public needs to be aware that there are people out there who will prey on the unsuspecting," Bryant said. "It's not uncommon for people to stop by, however, if you do not recognize them. Simply do not answer the door or ask them to leave a business card."

He also advises residents to keep doors locked, never allow strangers into your home and call 911 if you feel uncomfortable or threatened.

If anyone has any information about Horton, call the Erath County Sheriff's Office at 965-3338.