“In a joint effort with the Live Oak County Sheriff’s office, we were able to clear eight burglaries. When you have the local police department and sheriff’s office working together, crimes are solved in high numbers,” Roberts said.
On Sept. 18, Michael Hardesty reported to Roberts, his Three Rivers business, Bar H Outfitters, had been burglarized and two .38 Comanche pistols had been taken. A week later, on Sept. 24, Hardesty reported his business had been burglarized again and this time eight shotguns and rifles, 60 pocketknives, 100 boxes of ammunition and several other items had been taken. Three Rivers Police officer William Jones was dispatched to Bar H Outfitters to take Hardesty’s report at 7 a.m. According to Jones’ incident report, Hardesty felt the perpetrator(s) had come in through the rolling door at the rear of the business. Jones said he was observing the rolling door when Live Oak County Investigator Charlie Stroleny and Roberts arrived on the scene to assist him.
Jones said, “I briefed them [Stroleny and Roberts] on the situation and walked them through the crime scene. During the walk through, it was observed the subject(s) may have obtained entrance through the aluminum siding located on the west rear side of the building. The subject(s) appeared to have unscrewed two screws on the siding then pulled back the siding gaining entrance to the animal feed section of the store.”
After securing the scene at Bar H Outfitters, the three officers made contact with the Valero Refinery Security Office to check their surveillance cameras for possible suspects. However, “no useful information was obtained,” said Jones.
Less than two weeks after the last burglary, on Oct. 6, Jones “received a report someone was siphoning gas from a vehicle,” said Roberts. Jones basically interrupted a “burglary of a vehicle in progress,” said Roberts. When Jones arrived, one subject ran off; however Jones made contact with two other subjects. According to the sheriff’s arrest records, the first subject was identified as Victor Carbajal, Jr. and the second subject was identified as Randall Wayne Miller.
Miller granted Jones consent to search his blue 1984 Chevrolet Camero Z-28. During the search, Jones found a shotgun that fit the description of one taken from Bar H Outfitters, Roberts said.
Following that, Miller gave consent for Jones to search his bedroom where Jones found two more guns and a small ice chest that contained ammunition. The items matched the descriptions of some of the guns/ammo taken from Bar H Outfitters, Roberts said. “Carbajal would not grant officers consent to search his home,” Roberts said.
Subsequently, Carbajal, Miller and another subject named Robert Lucas Diaz were arrested in connection with the Bar H Outfitters burglaries and several other burglaries.
During a short press meeting, Busby and Roberts said while they could not divulge sources or details, the Bar H Outfitters burglary, as well as the Three Rivers School, Curry’s Nursery, Waterfront Restaurant and Handi-Stop burglaries were all related. “The Three Rivers Police Department and the sheriff’s office worked closely to apprehend the suspects. This is a real good bust. It culminates in several months of work because these people were suspects before,” Busby said.
Roberts continued by saying, “The ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] will be here later this week and Sheriff Busby and I anticipate more arrests and more charges will be filed, including federal charges.”
“I want to take the opportunity to thank the other officers that helped clear the burglaries and helped take guns out of the hands of wrong individuals. Besides Jones, Stroleny, Busby and myself, they include Deputy John Brosig and Cpl. J.R. Rodriguez,” Roberts said.
Carbajal was charged with burglary of a vehicle and theft of firearm. He was magistrated by Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Virginia Tanguma; she set his bonds at $2,500 and $25,000, respectively. He posted bond and was out on Oct. 7. Diaz was charged with burglary of a building. He was magistrated by Tanguma; she set his bond at $25,000. He posted bond and was out on Oct. 7. Miller was charged with burglary of a building. He was not able to post bond and remains in the Live Oak County jail.