Man, 59, arrested for role in retail theft ring operation, affidavit says

Wendell Burleson charged with engaging in organized criminal activity

SAN ANTONIO – A man was arrested after police said he took part in multiple thefts at retail stores across the San Antonio area.

Wendell Burleson, 59, is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Burleson is one of four people involved in stealing and later reselling items for a profit.

The affidavit states that police this month received reports of potential thefts from retailers such as TJMaxx, Marshall’s, At Home, Walmart, Target, Burlington, Ross, H-E-B, Five Below, Academy and Walgreens among others.

Loss prevention employees from TJ Maxx and Marshall’s set up a surveillance operation for two weeks. Police said the employees took photos and videos of two women stealing items before they returned to a hotel room to store them and sell them to third parties, the affidavit said.

Police said that on Monday, one of the women took some of the stolen items from the hotel to a restaurant, where she sold the items to Burleson and Beatrice Rodriguez Francis, 53.

Beatrice Rodriguez Francis, 53 (KSAT 12 News)

Francis told police that the woman who sold her the merchandise being stored at the hotel was her daughter, according to the affidavit. She admitted to having bought items from her daughter several times and reselling the stolen items at work for a profit, police said.

Officers obtained written consent to search Francis’ and the man’s apartment, where they found $700 worth of stolen merchandise and drugs.

Police said they got a search warrant for the hotel room and found $2,000 worth of stolen items and drugs.

SAPD said Francis is part of a criminal conspiracy with three other people who have allegedly committed theft in an amount that exceeds $2,500 but less than $30,000.

Burleson is charged with a third degree felony. His bond is set at $20,000.

About the Author

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

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