Game camera helps identify burglary suspect
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A Cotulla man has been jailed on a burglary charge after he was recorded removing valuables from a house on Tilden Street and admitting his crimes to investigators.
Jose Enrique Rodriguez, 62, was taken into custody last week after a number of interviews with the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office in which he acknowledged having broken into a home to steal antiques and family heirlooms, many of which have since been recovered.
Investigators were led to Rodriguez after the homeowners reported that they had used a game camera for surveillance at the building to which they had been making extensive repairs.
The camera, according to Sheriff’s Lt. Homar Olivarez, revealed footage of Rodriguez taking items from the home.
“The property owners had been visiting the building during the remodeling process and had noticed signs of an intruder,” Olivarez said. “They also noted that some of their valuables were missing. So they set up a game camera to see whether they could catch anything on film if it happened again. Sure enough, it did.
“On Wednesday last week, the homeowners checked the camera and saw footage of a man rifling through their possessions,” the lieutenant said. “Deputy Joe Pargas examined the camera footage and believed the man on the film was Jose Rodriguez.”
Olivarez said that investigators believe Rodriguez entered the building “at least twice” in his forays for valuables.
“The suspect was recognizable in the camera footage and was known to us,” Olivarez said.
A warrant for Rodriguez’ arrest on a second-degree felony charge of burglary of a habitation was issued; the suspect was spotted walking in Cotulla on Friday, March 24.
“One of the hurdles in locating the suspect was his vagrant lifestyle,” Lt. Olivarez said. “He often had no fixed address.”
La Salle Sgt. Investigator Esmeralda Gonzalez and Cpl. Oscar Macias interviewed the suspect Friday and Rodriguez agreed to take the corporal to a site where he had concealed the valuables, according to the report.
“The suspect then gave officers information on another site where he had allegedly concealed stolen goods,” Olivarez said. “These were also items from the same residence.
“Rodriguez told us that he thought the property had been vacant for a long time,” the lieutenant added.
Rodriguez remained behind bars in lieu of bond Monday.