Busy Burglars Busted
The Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office along with the Pleasanton and Jourdanton Police Departments believe they have smashed a local burglary ring that is allegedly responsible for over 25 home burglaries. Beginning May 2, the sheriff’s office began experiencing a number of residential burglaries east of Pleasanton, primarily in the East Lakes and Lakefield Estates subdivisions off of TX Hwy 97, three miles east of Pleasanton. The burglaries continued over the next two months.
During the same time period the Pleasanton Police Department noticed an influx of residential burglaries in the Oak Forest Subdivision and in the Mills Addition near the Pleasanton High School campus. As the burglaries continued to mount up, a break came in the case when suspected stolen property was discovered in a pawn shop that had been taken in a burglary on Cross Lake Drive on June 30.
According to Chief Deputy David Soward, on July 2, Sheriff’s Sergeant
Investigator Max Peralta and Deputies Kevin Draughn and John Rothenbach went to the suspect’s residence in the East Lake subdivision armed with an arrest warrant. Deputies arrested the suspect, Manuel Arguijo, 25, 285 Lakeview, Pleasanton on a warrant charging him with Burglary of a Habitation. Investigators received consent to search the property and recovered several items of stolen property, some from a burglary reported earlier that morning on Cross Lake Drive. Sergeant Investigators Wayne Stratton and Matt Miller along with Chief Soward and Lt. Investigator Jake Guerra went to the residence to assist. Chief Deputy Soward notified Pleasanton Police investigators of a possible connection to burglaries in their city.
Later in the day, Sergeant Peralta obtained a search warrant for a residence on Parkfield Drive where sheriff’s investigators recovered more stolen property linking additional suspects to more burglaries. Arguijo was later charged with four additional counts of Burglary of a Habitation in connection to burglaries in the 8700 block of Coughran Road, 400 block of Bluefield, 80 block of Cross Lake, and the 100 block of Cross Lake. Pleasanton PD Lt. Investigator Ronald Sanchez, Captain Ricky Gutierrez and Sgt. Johnny Gonzales were able to trace recovered stolen items to residential burglaries in the 500 block of Mark, 100 block of Winship Road, 100 block of Massad Drive and the 1000 block of Commerce Street in Pleasanton. Investigators were also able to recover several items of stolen property from two burglaries in the city of Jourdanton. Jourdanton PD investigator Albert Garza was notified and joined the investigation. Inv. Garza linked the suspects in the investigation to burglaries in the 1200 block ofHickory and the 1100 block of Fig Streets in Jourdanton.
As of this time, charges have not been filed on these two cases. During the early morning of July 6, Floresville Police responded to a burglary in progress call in the city of Floresville and apprehended two Atascosa County men and charged them with burglary. Both suspects had already been linked to the burglary ring in Atascosa County. Sheriff’s investigators and Pleasanton Police investigators traveled to Floresville to interview the suspects, identified as Samuel Salazar, 21, 210 Parkfield Dr., Pleasanton and Michael Allen Smith, 17, 321 Duck Street, Pleasanton. Salazar was released on bond but Smith remains in the Wilson County Jail. The team of officers, led by Sgt. Investigator Peralta pursued several additional leads and recovered more stolen property. This also led to the arrest of Juan Jose Salazar, 21, 210 Parkfield, Pleasanton who was arrested and charged with two counts of Burglary of a Habitation and remains in the Atascosa County jail in lieu of $100,000 bond set by JP Precinct 3, Orlando Carrasco.
Sheriff’s investigators have obtained an arrest warrant for Samuel Salazar, who has believed to have fled the area, for a burglary in the 200 block of Deer Run. Michael Allen Smith has also been charged with this burglary.
According to Pleasanton Police Chief Gary Soward, investigators have reason to believe that several of the suspects have sold stolen property to individuals who probably don’t realize they have bought stolen property. “If you purchased some of these items or suspect that you may have, we will not seek to have you prosecuted if you come forward now and return the property”, the police chief said. He also added, “No one wants to lose something they have worked hard for and no one wants to be arrested for being in possession of stolen property. Please call Lt. Sanchez at (830)569-3869 or Sergeant Peralta at (830)769- 3434 if you think you may have unknowingly purchased stolen items such as TV’s, game systems, jewelry or firearms. It’s the right thing to do.”
On Monday July 16th, Sergeant Peralta along with Sgt. Johnny Gonzales and Investigator Albert Garza picked up a fifth suspect involved in the burglary ring.
Sheriff’s investigators so far have recovered over $6,000 in stolen property from burglaries in their jurisdiction. Arguijo remains in the Atascosa County Jail in lieu of bonds totaling $470,000.
Chief Deputy David Soward along with Jourdanton Police Chief Eric Kaiser and Pleasanton Police Chief Soward were quick to praise the combined effort of all three departments working toward one common goal, to stop this burglary ring.
Chief Deputy Soward added, “We are not done with this investigation by any means, we will continue to pursue leads and work with the police departments until we can recover all the stolen property that can possibly be located and all the suspects involved are charged and arrested”.