|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Lakefront burglaries lead to arrest of juveniles
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – A month long investigation culminated last week when two juveniles were taken into custody in connection with a string of burglaries along the shores of Lake Livingston. Pct. 1 Constable Woody Wallace initiated the investigation in February after being contacted by several residents of the lake area. Several boathouses and boats had been burglarized, some of them multiple times. “One victim took it upon himself to offer a $1,000 reward for information to help solve the crimes,” Wallace said. “Other victims began installing video cameras and alarms systems. We have been told at least 30-40 boats and/or boathouses have been burglarized in subdivisions from Pinecrest all the way around to Westwood Shores,” Wallace said. Wallace said he had been asked a few months back to help with the problems that were plaguing the Precinct 2 subdivision, Trinity Cove. During that investigation, Wallace and deputy constables from his department gained contacts thru traffic stops and began receiving information about the suspects and how they were operating. It was quickly discovered that a small boat with a trolling motor was being used to gain access to the boathouses. The suspects were primarily stealing batteries, gas tanks, gas cans, trolling motors, fishing poles, tackle boxes and fishing tackle. The Precinct 1 officers gathered video and pictures that victims were beginning to acquire thru the surveillance systems and were questioning people in the area. Wallace said a number of people had information and were quick to give it up when questioned. It wasn’t long until investigators had enough for a search warrant, Wallace said. With the help of Assistant District Attorney Bennie Schiro, Wallace’s department obtained a search warrant for the residence of one of the juveniles. Deputy Constable Mark Cole, Deputy Constable Rusty Barrett, District Attorney Investigator Travis Haygood and Wallace executed the search warrant and several stolen items were recovered and arrests were made. Wallace said that many of the items could be identified and returned to the rightful owner because the owner had marked their names on the items. Others were recovered because the owner had the serial numbers recorded. “I can’t stress enough about putting your name or some identifying mark on personal property or recording serial numbers on items that are easily stolen,” Wallace said. “This will often be the only way law enforcement can identify and return stolen property.” The juveniles have been taken into custody and a number of charges are pending at this time. There are several items that have been recovered and the ownership is still not known. Recent victims of lakefront burglaries or those who know victims are asked to contact Wallace at 594-2122 to help identify the items. The constable noted that several members of the Neighborhood Watch group were helpful in gathering information and stressed the importance of being involved in the program. Wallace added that any sub-division or community that does not currently participate in a Neighborhood Watch group and wishes to organize one should contact his office for more information.