RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas – Over $3,000 worth of power tools is stolen from five vehicles over the weekend in Rio Grande City. However, the tools are what led police to their suspect.
Chief Noe Castillo, Rio Grande City Police, “The individual actually left a trail of items as he was going which actually led us to where he was located.”
The string of burglaries happened on Sunday night between north Britton Avenue and east 2nd Street. Two businesses and a residence were targeted leaving the three short on laptops, cameras, and special tools.
“They basically emptied out everything from the safe.” said resident Israel Cruz.
The five vehicles burglarized belong to Israel Cruz’s grandfather who is currently hospitalized. He says it took his grandpa 30 years to buy all those tools. “A lot of people like to steal. This is not the first time that this has happened to us, obviously.”
Later that day an alleged accomplice tried doing business with the wrong person. Yolanda Olivarez, the home owner, said a man tried selling her stepson one of the stolen items after giving him a ride home from a store.
“He did give him a ride home and that’s when he tried selling him the item for $50.”
Although police have only charged 51-year-old Javier Cruz in this case, Olivarez believes there are more people involved.
“One person alone does not go into four places at the same time. It’s got to be two, three people involved.”
The Rio Grande City Police Chief says these type of burglaries are at their peak during the holiday season.
“The vehicles were left unlocked and that’s usually the case when people are trying to pop up doors and when they leave something inside the vehicle that is visible and they don’t lock the door, a lot of our burglary vehicles occur that way.”
The chief says think twice before buying any item off the street. As you can risk being charged with possession of a stolen item.
Javier Cruz was charged with five counts of Burglary of A Vehicle, one count of Theft of Property and one count of Burglary of A Building. The majority of the stolen items have been returned to their owners.