Two arrested Tuesday after ‘bait’ trips up rural burglars
Three agencies, including the Milam County Sheriff’s Department, raided a Temple residence Tuesday, made two arrests and are searching for a third man whom they believe are part of a gang targeting rural residences.
The raid came after the Milam County Sheriffs Department put out “bait” in the form of a trailer hauling a 4-wheeler Monday over a week ago.
A rrested were 26-year-old Raymond Lara and his brother, 32-year-old Paul Joseph Lara, both of Cameron.
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of 40-year-old Eugenio Hernandez of Temple.
Deputy Sheriff Chris White said a series of rural thefts and burglaries began in October.
“The primary locations being targeted were secluded buildings or sheds and in most cases fourwheelers or ATVs were taken,” White said.
“Extra focus was placed throughout the northeastern portion of Milam County to try and discover who was responsible for the thefts however no leads or information could be found to solve the cases,” he said.
White said it was determined that the suspects carried out the burglaries in the same way through most of the incidents and also that US 77, FM 485 and FM 979 appeared to be primary routes travelled by the thieves.
Sheriff David Greene then initiated a program to set a “bait” trailer and four-wheeler AT V throughout different portions of northeastern Milam County in an attempt to catch the thieves in action.
White said the “bait” trailer/ ATV were set in Jones Prairie for a few days but with no activity, the unit was moved to an area just east of U.S. Highway 77 on FM 485.
At about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday on the eighth day of surveillance deputies saw that the unit had been taken and White said the decision was made to follow the unit in hopes that it would lead investigators to recover other stolen four-wheelers.
Investigators tracked the “bait” trailer/ATV all the way to Little Mexico Road in Temple, where it then turned and stopped in the 5000 block of Mexiconito Lane.
After obtaining search warrant from 246th District Judge Martha Trudo the raid commenced.
Milam County investigators with the assistance of the Bell County Sheriff’s Investigators, Temple Police Detectives, Bell County D.A. Investigators and a Bell County District Judge, conducted an extensive investigation.
White said the search resulted in the recover y of a Yamaha Grizzly ATV stolen out of Eddy Texas.
“There was also evidence recovered indicating that a John Deere Gator stolen from Hamilton County, a Kubota RTV stolen from McClennan County and a riding mower stolen from Bell County had been at that location, but the items had been removed before our arrival and could not be located,” White said.
Investigators also recovered two sets of bolt cutters and five sets of ATV ignition key systems that appear to have been removed from other ATVs.
“This additional evidence will be sent to the DPS lab in Austin for fingerprinting. The DPS Lab in Austin will also check to see if locks cut in different burglaries can be matched to the bolt-cutters recovered, and the serial numbers on the ignition switches will try to be matched to stolen ATVs reported throughout Central Texas,” White said.
White said the suspects have been charged with theft of property and engaging in organized crime both felonies
“As the investigation progresses additional charges will be made,” he said..
Anyone with information regarding this investigation, should call White with the Milam County Sheriff’s Office at 254- 697-7033.