SAN ANTONIO – A tracker that was placed at a new home construction site in an effort to catch thieves led to the arrests of two suspects, according to San Antonio police.
Ernest Morales, 41, and Eddie Alvarez, 38, were taken into custody on Wednesday on charges of theft of a vehicle between $30,000 and $100,000, and theft between $2,500 and $30,000, according to SAPD public information officer Nick Soliz. Morales was also charged with felon in possession of a firearm.
Soliz said the duo is accused of stealing “a lot of property” from newly built homes at a site near Loop 410 and Pearsall Road on the Southwest Side. The items included stoves, doors and cabinetry.
In the past, new homes at the property had been “heavily, heavily burglarized,” Soliz said, so builders partnered with SAPD to help stop thefts.
Police placed trackers on certain items and they were alerted at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday that one home had been hit. Police traced the tracker to a motel in the 3800 block of SW Military Drive.
The tracker was found inside a U-Haul, which turned out to be stolen. While officers were surveilling the area, a gold GMC Yukon arrived at the parking lot.
Someone in the Yukon, later identified as Morales, got out of the Yukon and went to the U-Haul. Morales then went to a motel room and the Yukon left the motel, Soliz said.
Police went to the room to question Morales, who was armed. He later admitted to stealing “all of this property at the new construction site” with a second thief, Soliz said.
As police questioned Morales, the Yukon returned to the motel parking lot and a passenger, identified as Alvarez, got out of the vehicle.
Alvarez was taken into custody and the driver of the Yukon took off, police said. Officers did not pursue the Yukon.
Soliz did not give an estimated price for the stolen goods but did say “it was a good amount.”
The thefts at the property happened “often enough to where our South property detectives decided that this property needed trackers.”
The Yukon was also stolen, and the U-Haul was returned to the rental company.
Police officers are still searching for the driver of the Yukon.