FOUND: 2 county trucks stolen from park in $100k heist discovered blocks away

3 hours passed before burglary discovered, Sheriff's Office says

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist, Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter, Jessie Degollado - Reporter, Adam B. Higgins - Photojournalist

BEXAR COUNTY - Two Ford F-350 pickup trucks stolen over the weekend in a heist of more than $100,000 in county-owned equipment were located Monday, less than a mile away from the park from where they were stolen Saturday.

San Antonio police recovered the stolen vehicles around 6:30 p.m. Monday after finding them parked in the 2900 block of Rigsby Avenue. The lot where they were found is a couple of blocks away from Comanche Park, from where they were stolen.

"The vehicles were not damaged and appeared as if they were just left in the parking lot," a spokeswoman for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office said.

Authorities confirmed that the burglars had hours to make off with the two trucks, three riding lawn mowers and several pieces of lawn maintenance equipment early Saturday morning after the county's alarm system encountered a technical error.

A spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office said burglary alarms at Comanche Park went off twice around 4 a.m. Saturday, but the burglary wasn't discovered until 7 a.m. when a Bexar County employee arrived at work and noticed the items were missing.

A source told the KSAT Defenders that someone tasked with monitoring alarms for county buildings missed the two alarms, giving the burglars hours to rummage through equipment and vehicles at the East Side park.

"The alarms were received to the courthouse dispatch," a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office said. "Preliminarily, it appears that the issue for the delay was a result of a technical error. Alarms received by dispatch are received with an audible and visual signal, both of which did not work at the time of this alarm being set off. We are still working to determine what caused the technical error."

Precinct 4 County Commissioner Tommy Calvert, the elected official representing the area where the park is located, said the burglary has him reassessing how county-owned property is monitored, adding that with the late discovery, "You always have to question whether or not there was inside information."

"We have over $6 billion worth of stuff to monitor, and it's probably not enough for one or two people (to monitor)," Calvert said.

He said he was "disappointed and outraged" by the burglary and vowed to "make it right for the future of the taxpayers."

Officials released the following list of items stolen:

  • 2015 Ford F-350
  • 2018 Ford F-350
  • Three Gravely riding lawnmowers
  • Five Husqvarna handheld weed trimmers
  • Two Echo 18” Chainsaws
  • Five Echo/Steel Leaf Blower

A spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office said there was damage to the warehouse where the burglars entered, as well as a nearby gate. 

The Sheriff's Office said its burglary unit is handling the investigation.

Calvert is calling for surveillance video depicting the burglars to be released to the public, and an explanation as to how the technical error occurred. However, the Sheriff's Office said it will not release the surveillance video until investigators determine it will not hinder their investigation.

Anyone with information about the stolen items or the burglary is asked to call 210-335-6070 or email bcsotips@bexar.org.

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