Karnes County theft ring ends with two arrests, others likely

$200,000 in valuable stolen items recovered

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter

KARNES COUNTY, Texas - A theft ring operating out of Karnes County has ended with two arrests and the recovery of an estimated $200,000 in valuable stolen items taken from the area around Gillett, southeast of San Antonio, over the last six months.

Dwayne Villanueva, the Karnes County sheriff, said more arrests are likely and investigators are tracking down even more stolen goods. He said the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office also is investigating.

He said Jarrod James Stewart, 32, and Jonathon Wade Andruss, 30, from Stockdale in neighboring Wilson County, are facing multiple burglary charges.

The sheriff said both men are unemployed.

“That’s what tells me they’re just looking for stuff they could take and sell it for cheap to someone else,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva said all-terrain vehicles, flatbed trailers, compressors, generators, tools, weapons and much more were recovered from two homes in the Stockdale and Sutherland Springs area in Wilson County. He said the Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter also helped locate what had been hidden in pastures and  elsewhere in the mostly rural area.

Villanueva said at least 10 people were victimized.

“They’ll scout the areas and see who is home and when they’re gone,” the sheriff said.

He also said “deer cameras” used for security also were stolen, along with a night-vision scope that they used after dark to commit burglaries.

Villanueva said he urges residents to be aware of any suspicious activity in the area, and to not hesitate calling Karnes County dispatch.

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