Man Serving Parole for Theft Reveals What Burglars Look for
SAN BENITO – The merriment of the holiday season can quickly turn to misery. Burglars look to make a quick buck by targeting homes and making off with some of those expensive gifts hidden away for Christmas.
A former crook tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS the thieves are watching.
"If they leave their houses without cars in the driveway... it’s like there’s no one there," the one-time criminal said.
We’re concealing the identity of the man. He's out on parole and spoke with CHANNEL 5 NEWS on condition of anonymity.
"If it’s something that’s normally $1,500 and you can get it for $400, you are going to get it," he said.
The man explains his part as a cog in a burglary ring. His family member was also breaking into homes.
The parolee said he was selling the merchandise. Most often, he said the items were appliances, like refrigerators and stoves.
The man tells us he sold them to a buyer from Mexico.
"The houses had the lights out. They were dark," he explained.
We're told the large grabs were usually transported in a white work van. He said property owners need to be aware of unfamiliar vehicles.
"If you see them passing by, over and over, that may be a clue that they’re looking out for something or waiting for you to leave or something,” he revealed.
He said the main deterrent to thieves is light, "Try to keep it bright as much as you can."
Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio concurs, "Always leave an outside light in the back and in the front."
The sheriff said the department often sees an increase in home and vehicle thefts this time of year.
"People don’t have a job. People are broke. They want to see what they can take, want to see what they can pawn, want to see what they can sell so they can make some money," he explained.
Lucio said you should also trim tall bushes below the windowsill, "because people sometimes have a tendency to hide inside those bushes."
The parolee said sometimes he made a couple hundred bucks off the stolen merchandise. He added that small amount of cash is a pittance compared to his restitution of seven years probation.
He’s hoping people will listen to his advice. He wants to prevent anyone from becoming the victim of the crimes he used to commit.
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