San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

December 30th, 2011
Police arrest suspected serial burglar

Ralph Garcia, Jr.


Authorities have found the man suspected of nine recent burglaries in San Marcos residential areas.

On Dec. 21, San Marcos police obtained a warrant for the arrest of 32-year-old Ralph Garcia, Jr., a San Marcos resident suspected to have recently stolen a variety of items (ranging from car batteries, lawn equipment, to a pressure washer) from storage buildings or sheds in the areas of Hopkins Street, San Antonio Street, and Farris Street.

The stolen items were located at local pawn shops and, in at least one case, at a recycling facility.

Police arrested Garcia on Dec. 29 and charged him with one count of burglary of a building. He is being held at the Hays County Law Enforcement Center and his bail bond is $75,000.

“Since the media coverage and reaching out through neighborhood associations, we have received more information and specific details leading us to the recovery of more property and the ability to trace the property through local pawn shops to our suspect,” said Penny Dunn, San Marcos Police Department commander.

Tracey Frans, an SMPD investigator, has recovered stolen property related to six of the nine burglary cases, Dunn said.

Dunn called the 6/9 recovery rate “remarkable,” and she said one reason for Frans’ success is that property owners gave police detailed information (such as serial numbers and other identifying marks) about the stolen items.

Dunn said she anticipates Garcia will be charged with more of the burglaries as police continue to work the cases and recover evidence.

“Some items may not be identifiable,” Dunn said. “We may be able to attach them to Ralph Garcia, but if we can’t prove that it’s stolen property or we don’t have a report of the property being stolen, then we can’t charge him with that,” Dunn said.

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