Prolific thief who changed name to trick new victims pleads no contest in four felony cases

Carlos Elizondo has faced 14 theft charges in Bexar County since late 2014

SAN ANTONIO – A convicted San Antonio thief who used a different name to cull new victims pleaded no contest Wednesday in state district court to four felony theft cases.

Carlos Elizondo made a brief appearance before Judge Ron Rangel, two weeks after a Bexar County grand jury indicted Elizondo in connection to three of the cases.

Elizondo’s attorney, Shannon Locke, said he hopes the plea deal keeps Elizondo from returning to jail.

“The deal is structured so that he’s going to provide up-front restitution. We’re working with the DA’s office to take responsibility for everything. Make sure all the victims are whole,” Locke said after the plea appearance.

Elizondo previously served around 14 months of a four-year jail sentence, following a 2017 sentencing hearing before another judge.

Elizondo accumulated 10 theft charges in less than three years, between 2014 and 2017, three of which included elderly victims, according to court records and KSAT’s previous coverage of him.

Accounting for the recent batch of cases, Elizondo has now been charged with theft 14 times in less than nine years.

Elizondo has been named in dozens of criminal complaints filed with area law enforcement agencies, but many of the cases did not result in criminal charges because he completed a small amount of work.

“He has experienced extraordinary stress and trauma as a result of all this. So he is certainly not going to be doing business anymore,” said Locke, as KSAT pointed out that the stress and trauma were a result of crimes committed by his client.

Carlos Elizondo (KSAT)

Court officials as of Wednesday afternoon had not finalized a sentencing date for Elizondo, who faces a felony enhancement in two of the cases because of his prior history of theft.

Elizondo left court without answering several questions from KSAT.

The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“The Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting Defendant Carlos Elizondo. Defendant has pled no contest to all charges. Sentencing will be scheduled for a later date. The Defendant is required to pay full restitution to all of the victims before sentencing. The final resolution of the case has not been received until the Judge has sentenced the Defendant.”

“He didn’t even bother to show up.”

Victim Lisa Fairchild was awarded a $5,457.64 default judgment in Bexar County Justice of the Peace court Tuesday, after Elizondo failed to appear for trial.

Fairchild reported Elizondo to San Antonio police after he failed to properly complete backyard fence and deck work and never installed sod at Fairchild’s home in 2020, despite being paid in full.

“He didn’t even bother to show up,” Fairchild said about Tuesday’s scheduled civil trial.

She said she is pessimistic about receiving any money from Elizondo since he was never criminally charged in connection to her case and failed to pay back any funds to her after they previously took part in mediation.

“You had your chance to resolve some things and you chose not to, so,” said Fairchild.

Fairchild said she hired Elizondo after seeing an advertisement on Facebook for C. Rene Elizondo.

Several victims who spoke with KSAT Investigates in recent years said they were unaware that Rene Elizondo was actually Carlos Elizondo, until after he had collected payments and then failed to show up to complete the work.

Rene is Elizondo’s legal middle name, according to a background check of him.

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About the Authors

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.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.

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