‘Serial thief’ who posed as cop, targeted elderly, sentenced to 4 years in jail

Carlos Elizondo, 45, charged in 10 theft cases since 2014

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man who repeatedly posed as a law enforcement officer to solicit clients for his lawn care and fencing company has been sentenced to four years in jail.

Judge Wayne Christian referred to 45-year-old Carlos Elizondo as a "serial thief" while sentencing him late last month.

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Prosecutors had moved to revoke Elizondo's probation on four previous theft convictions after a warrant was issued for his arrest in a new case in September.

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Days after he was sentenced, Elizondo was charged in another case in Bexar County, his 10th theft charge since October 2014.

Many of the charges involve elderly victims, officials said.

"You're the wolf who prays on the sheep of society," Christian said after hearing testimony from alleged victims in three cases in which Elizondo has yet to go to trial.

Elizondo has been jailed since being arrested in the Victoria area in October.

"You're asking this court to allow Mr. Elizondo to go back out and look for more sheep?" Christian asked, before denying a request from Elizondo's attorney to let him out on work release.

San Antonio Police Department incident reports compiled by the KSAT 12 Defenders show a pattern: Elizondo would introduce himself as a police officer or sheriff's deputy, take a partial payment for lawn care or fencing work and fail to complete the job.

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"Really rotten that someone could pull one over on you like that," said Brandi Numann, who hired Elizondo in April to do a partial fence replacement at a Northeast Side duplex.

SAPD records show Numann paid $600 to Elizondo, who tore down the old fence, put up a few support posts and then abandoned the job.

The duplex is owned by Numann's 96-year-old grandmother, who relies on rental payments on the property to cover the cost of her assisted care facility.

Numann revealed in court that she was eventually forced to build the fence herself.

"Go in there. Grab a screw gun. I told my husband, 'Tell me what to do,'" Numann said to KSAT 12 after testifying against Elizondo.

After Numann posted about the fencing incident earlier this year on Facebook, at  least 12 people contacted her, claiming they had had similar experiences with Elizondo.

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Multiple law enforcement sources said Elizondo is being investigated for theft in several cases in Guadalupe County.

One alleged victim from Cibolo testified at Elizondo's probation revocation hearing last month that her dog was injured by a neighbor's dog after Elizondo failed to put up a wooden fence on her property.

"Being out $1,000 was really hard -- then our dog getting hurt," said the woman, who asked not to be identified.

A third woman, who also asked not to be identified, testified that she got a 30-point deduction in her credit score after Elizondo told her credit card company he had completed fencing work at her property.

"Loss of trust in neighbors," said the woman, when asked on the witness stand what impact Elizondo had had on her.

Video obtained by The Defenders also shows Elizondo was untruthful to SAPD officers while being arrested on a theft warrant in May 2016.

Elizondo was captured on camera telling officers he had worked for the Lytle Police Department for two years before working as a deputy for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

State records showed Elizondo worked for the Lytle Police Department for less than six months.

Bexas County Sheriff Office officials confirmed that Elizondo applied for the department in 1993 and in 1996 but wasn't ever a BCSO employee.

An SAPD report filed in early November indicates that Elizondo and his wife, Kara, have a "fixation" with the detective assigned to Elizondo's theft cases.

Elizondo told officers that he now knows the name of the detective's son from searching Facebook and that he attends the same church as them.

The report also said that official invoices for the fencing company, which is registered under Kara Elizondo's name, use a vulgar remark combined with the detective's name.

The report labels both incidents as "possible threats" against the detective.

Elizondo's next court appearance is scheduled for mid-January.

San Antonio residents who believe they have been victimized by Elizondo may call SAPD North Property Crimes at 210-207-7658.

People living outside the San Antonio city limits who believe they have been victimized by Elizondo are encouraged to contact the law enforcement department in their area.

About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.