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Trinity Standard - Local News

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Teen arrested on burglary charge
Trinity Standard -

TRINITY – While no additional break-ins attributed to a gang of burglars were reported last week, Trinity police did take one juvenile into custody in connection with an August incident. According to Sgt. Randy Wheeler of the Trinity Police Department, the teenager was taken into custody Jan. 2 on a burglary of a habitation complaint following a four-month long investigation. Wheeler said the suspect is not believed to have been part of the burglary ring that has been operating in the Trinity area since October. “We now believe we have identified most if not all of those involved (with the ring),” he said. “Additional arrests are coming.” While the latest suspect was 17 years old when he was taken into custody last week, at the time of the Aug. 23 burglary he was only 16 and is being processed as a juvenile. Under Texas law, suspects are no longer considered juveniles in the court system if they as charged with committing a crime after their 17th birthday. Wheeler noted the charges against the latest suspect stem from the burglary of a Rockdale Street residence in which the back door was kicked in. A large quantity of jewelry was reported missing following the break-in. The TPD sergeant said the charge against the suspect was filed after evidence left at the scene of the burglary was linked to the teen. While there were no additional home or business burglaries reported over the past week, Wheeler noted there were three vehicle burglaries including one on Thursday and two on Saturday . He said investigators also do not believed these incidents are linked to the burglary ring but are rather “crimes of opportunity.” In all three cases, the vehicles were left unlocked and the thieves were able to quickly enter the vehicles, grab an item and leave. A cell phone and wallet were among the items taken, although the wallet – minus the cash it contained – was later recovered. “People need to take more precautions with their vehicles. They should lock them no matter how long they plan to be away and not leave anything of value where it can be seen from the outside,” Wheeler said. Although police received tips that the burglary ring was going to go into high gear during the Christmas-New Year school holiday period, it has remained fairly inactive since police issued a public warning on Dec. 17. At that time Trinity Police Chief Steve Jones asked local residents to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity immediately to police. During their October and November burglaries, three or four young Black males were seen in the areas where the burglaries were committed. It is believed they were scouting the targeted homes to make sure no one was at home before they attempted to break in. During that period, nine burglaries and two attempted burglaries were reported at local residences. All were thought to have been committed by the burglary ring members. In December, two attempted business burglaries were reported and at least one of them was believed linked to the burglary ring. Wheeler indicated investigators believe the public warning and the extra awareness by area residents may have forced the burglary ring to abandon their plans over the holidays. He asked that local residents continue to be alert and to call police at 594-2505 if they seen any suspicious behavior. Although three suspected members of the burglary ring have been arrested, police believe there are at least half a dozen more still on the streets. All of the burglars are believed to be between 16 and 20 years of age.


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