The Case of the Intrastate Burglar

My good friend and attorney has an office in the office park where we are located. On a weekend when his alarm system was not working he was burglarized, suffering a loss of computers, laptops and other valuable items. As usual. there were no identifiable sus­pects. My friend was frustrated that he did not have a camera sys­tem in his office to document the break in, so while he was await­ing a new alarm system he installed an interior camera system.

The thief, knowing that the office suites were not alarmed, re­turned a few days later and broke in again. This time, he spent a great deal of time searching through the office and leaving with a boatload of valuables and some guns. He returned an hour later for a second trip and took even more items. including personal items. boxes of expensive cigars and anything he thought he could probably sell on the street for money.

The new camera system provided great identification shots of the thief, including a large tattoo on his right forearm. We also noticed that during the second intrusion, which was approximately an hour after the first, he had changed clothes.

During the process of trying to get this information to the Harris County Sheriff’s Department we learned that District 4 only had two detectives assigned to all burglary, criminal mischief, and property crimes in the district. The detectives even had a difficult time keeping up with cases where the defendants gave confessions.

Gradoni & Associates Investigate

Investigator Keith Kucifer and myself thought that the case scenario might pos­sibly mean that the thief was on foot. We blew up the pictures from the video and decided to canvas the one motel and the three apartment complexes nearby. Our first stop was a low rent motel right around the corner from the office park. The manager identi­fied the photograph as a tenant in one of the rooms. We asked the manager to call the male to the front desk, as a guise, in order that we could verify if he in fact was the thief.

After the male came to the front desk we were able to positively identify him as the thief in the video.

The manager provided us with his renter’s name, which enabled us to determine he had a Motion to Revoke Parole (MRP) on a number of bur­glary charges that originated from Corpus Christi. We were able to get three DPS Investigators to run the parole violator warrant in effort to get the thief in custody and find any of the stolen property.

The motel room was filled with TVs, computers and the majority of the items stolen from my friend’s office, which we were able to recover; including the expensive cigar box which the thief attempted to sell to the motel manager the day before.

One of the two females in the room told us that the thief had given some items to two other occupants of the motel. We were able to talk to both of the unemployed tenants and explain to them it was in their best interest to return the property they had received as a gift for giving the thief rides to local pawn shops where he pawned some of the items.

In addition to the revocation of his 18 year prior burglary convic­tion, the thief pleaded guilty to the break-ins at my friend’s office. We also learned from one of the females that the thief had been burglarizing business on FM 1960 since his arrival in the area.

RESULT BASED ON INVESTIGATION:  Burglar Arrested, Charged, and Jailed

Return to the December 2016 Investigator’s Newsletter

The Case of the Intrastate Burglar