Ex-cop arrested in 'Lawn Enforcement' yard care scheme

Carlos Elizondo, 44, faces 6 theft charges

By Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A local man already on probation for theft faces new accusations that he posed as a San Antonio Police Department officer to drum up business for his lawn care company, then never completed the work.

Carlos Elizondo, 44, was arrested in the Victoria area Thursday, two days after missing a court appearance for a misdemeanor theft case in Bexar County.

He was transported back to Bexar County, then later booked into the jail early Friday, according to Central Magistrate records.

Elizondo's arrest came two weeks after the SAPD North Substation released an advisory warning residents that Elizondo was using his landscaping business, Lawn Enforcement Rescue Services, to "defraud customers of their payments for work not performed."

According to SAPD case files and county court records, Elizondo, as far back as 2014, told potential customers he was an SAPD officer and Bexar County Sheriff's Office Special Emergency Response Team member. 

However, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records showed Elizondo's only law enforcement experience was six months as an officer with the Lytle Police Department from January to July 1995.

At the time of his arrest, Elizondo was wanted on four outstanding warrants for theft and two warrants for theft from the elderly.

Officials confirm only one of the theft charges is a new case, while the other warrants are attached to cases that were already adjudicated.

County court records show Elizondo pleaded guilty and was granted probation in three theft cases in September 2016 in exchange for three other cases being dismissed.

Case files show Elizondo has a pattern of taking on work, accepting money from clients and then failing to finish the work.

According to one theft warrant, a man who attempted to get back his money received a text from Elizondo that read, "I DONT (sic) CARE!!! I will not refund your money. Move on. DO NOT CALL OR TEXT ME EVER AGAIN."

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