Stolen butterfly statue recovered
An investigation into a stolen vehicle in the city of Mission led to the discovery of a stolen piece of art, and similar crimes made throughout western Hidalgo County and in San Antonio.
Antonio Ramirez Jr. was arrested earlier this month after the Mission Police Department discovered he had been driving a vehicle he had stolen last January from a local used car dealership.
Ramirez Jr., a San Antonio native, was visiting family and staying with his pregnant wife at the Executive Inn & Suites located on 1786 E. Business Hwy 83 in Mission.
“He was test driving the vehicle from the dealership and never returned it,” Art Flores, an investigator with the Mission Police Department said. “The hotel room they were at was trashed, they might be facing additional charges because of it.”
Following his arrest, Ramirez Jr. began confessing to multiple crimes, Flores said.
The couple had been stealing merchandise at several stores throughout the area since their stay last January, Flores said. Among the items they stole were two statues from the Upper Valley Art League. The statues – values at $1,500 – included one of a Monarch butterfly that had been created as part of a beautification project.
Ramirez stole the statue and sold it for $40, Flores said.
“He needed money, his wife was pregnant and he was out of a job, that’s what he kept stating when he was talking about the crimes,” Flores said.
The butterfly statue was recovered at a flea market in Palmview and returned to the UVAL, according to a Friday social media post from the city of Mission.
Ramirez Jr., meanwhile, was booked on 14 charges including six theft charges and had his bond set at $59,000, court records show.
Ramirez Jr. is also wanted in San Antonio on an aggravated assault charge, Flores said.
“He could be facing more charges, he has pending charges in McAllen and Palmhurst,” Flores said. “One case led to a couple, then multiple that needed to be closed out. There were many cases solved in this investigation.”
Flores added that Ramirez Jr.’s wife is also expected to face charges for her role in the thefts.
“We’re going to have to keep investigating a little bit more,” Flores said.
Those with information on the case are urged to contact the Mission Crime Stoppers at 956-581-8477.
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