Arrest made in unique burglary at church office


A 24-year-old Rockdale man was arrested Saturday and charged with theft of a firearm in connection with a break-in overnight April 26 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Lawrence Gonzales remains in custody on $10,000 bond.

The only item taken in the unique, for a church, incident was a shotgun.

“The shotgun had been donated for use as a prize in the church’s annual Mayfest (which was held Sunday) and was being kept locked up in the church office,” Newlin said.

“At the break-in the only item taken was the shotgun,” Newlin said. “We don’t think that was what the suspect was after. It was used, unsuccessfully, to try and pry open a filing cabinet.”

Even though blood evidence was recovered by police, the arrest was made through “old-fashioned tracking down leads and asking questions,” Newlin said.

A tip received by Mike Clore of the sheriff’s department’s Special Investigations Unit helped lead to the arrest, Newlin said.

Others working on the case included Sgts. Adam Assaker and Stephen Goodrich and Ofc. James Treadway.

ARRESTS—Other felony arrests during the past week included:

• April Faye Stephens, 38, Milano, credit/debit abuse, released on $3,500 bond.

• Juan Rubio Jr., 44, Rockdale, possession of a controlled substance (less than one gram), in custody on $$5,000 bond.

• Joseph Anthony Vega, 31, Rockdale, unlawful possession of a firearm.

• Troy Lee Shesler, 51, Cameron, evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle, public intoxication warrant, in custody on $11,500 bond.

ACCIDENTS—Five accidents were investigated by police during the past week as follows:

• 7:54 a.m. Thursday, 400 block of North Rice, drivers Soledad Luna and Ramon Frayna, both of Rockdale, minor damages.

• 11:38 a.m. Friday, intersection of Spruce and Murray, drivers Joyce Collins of Milano and Erika Zuniga of McAllen, minor damages.

• 11:26 a.m. Saturday, Walmart parking lot, drivers Thomas Newton and Ashlie Young, both of Rockdale, minor damages.

• 7:39 a.m. Monday, McDonald’s parking lot, drivers Roy Clemmons of Buda and Michael Gardiner of Rockdale, minor to moderate damages.

• 6:24 p.m. Monday, Wilcox and Belton, drivers Delores Sonntag and Juan Paniagua, both of Rockdale, moderate to extensive damages.

ACTIVITY—Police issued 71 citations, including 57 for speeding, and responded to 123 calls for service during the week.

There were 129 calls received through the 911 system.

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