Carter County Sheriff’s Department investigators have arrested a second teenager linked to the recent rash of rural auto burglaries.
Undersheriff Gus Handke said Simon Gonzalez Jr., 18, became a person of interest in a Dec. 31 auto burglary that occurred in the 4700 block of South Plainview Road, when the CCSD received a tip from a concerned citizen.
“That led Deputy Rick Batt to a local store where there had been an attempt to use a credit card stolen during that burglary. A review of the store’s video surveillance provided an image of Gonzalez,” Handke said.
The picture, retrieved from the store video, along with what the undersheriff described as fingerprints, shoe prints and DNA recovered from the scene of burglary led to confirmation of the Springer teen’s identity.
“He was surrendered by a member of his family for an interview at the sheriff’s department,” Handke said. “Following that interview he was arrested and booked into the Carter County Detention Center late Thursday.”
Friday Gonzalez was formally charged by the district attorney’s office with a misdemeanor taking/receiving a stolen credit/debit card charge. He made an initial appearance in Carter County District Court Friday afternoon. Special District Judge Carson Brooks set a $250 personal recognizance bond and Gonzalez was released pending the outcome of the case.
Meanwhile CCSD deputies continue to identify others believed to be part of a group responsible for the series of thefts of property taken from unlocked cars and trucks.
“Two of these burglaries have been solved. We appreciate the help we are getting from the public in providing information concerning suspects still at large who could be involved. We appreciate that kind of cooperation from the public,” Handke said.
The undersheriff also urged rural residents to lock their vehicles and secure personal property.
“You just can’t count on the fact that because you live in a rural area you can’t be the victim of these kinds of crimes. Vehicles that are unlocked are prime targets, regardless of where the owner lives. We caution all rural residents to take precautions. It takes just seconds for a thief to open a door and grab what is not just left in plain sight but what may be under the seat or in the glove box  too and it can be prevented by taking the less than two seconds it takes to push the door lock button when you exit your vehicle,” Handke said.