Five local teens went on a five-hour stealing spree throughout the city, nabbing a tattoo machine, body piercing equipment, snacks and liquor from various businesses, according to Brownsville police.
When they were caught, one told police detectives he didn’t have money to buy back-to-school clothes and decided to steal business as a last resort.
Now, Neptali Robles, Tyler Eugene Herton and Erick Cardenas, arrested early Tuesday on charges of burglary of a building and engaging in organized criminal activity, said Sgt. Jimmy Manrrique, spokesman for Brownsville police.
Two other teens, both under the age of 17, have been arrested and charged in connection to the burglaries, Manrrique said. He could not release their names because they are juveniles.
Robles and Herton each face five counts of burglary of a building and five additional counts of engaging in organized criminal activity, according to a police report. Cardenas faces two counts of burglary of a building and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.
Six additional charges are pending against Cardenas, Manrrique said.
The first burglary happened sometime before midnight Sunday, with the last one wrapping up about 5 a.m. Monday, Manrrique said.
The teens gained entry to the Jorge Flores Pediatric Clinic, 1885 Price Rd., and were able to enter Complete Rx Pharmacy next door through a sliding door. There, they allegedly stole CornNuts, as well as other snacks, over the counter medication and prescription drugs, Manrrique said.
The teens then hit Jade’s Beauty Salon, 3638 Boca Chica Blvd., where they allegedly stole body piercing equipment, as well as a cash register with an unknown amount of money in it.
The teens are also believed to have burglarized Ol’ Skool Tattoo, 5905 S. Padre Island Hwy., where they allegedly stole a tattoo machine.
Manrrique said one of the teens confessed that he committed the act because he wanted to ink his own tattoo.
Finally, the teens broke into Feldman’s Liquor, 2501 Paredes Line Rd., according to a police report, where they stole liquor bottles.
“The group was charged with a total of 40 counts of burglary of a building,” Manrrique said Wednesday morning in a prepared statement. “The group operated by method of smash and grab.”
Manrrique said the same hammer was used to break into the pediatric clinic, the beauty salon and the tattoo parlor, where police detectives observed broken windows.
“The burglary task force is continuing to investigate other burglaries in which this particular group might have been involve,” he said.
Police detectives believe the teens were on drugs and high when they committed the burglaries, Manrrique said.
Wednesday afternoon, Robles, Herton and Cardenas were being held at the Carrizalez-Rucker Detention Center in Olmito in lieu of bonds ranging from $50,000 to $130,000, according to jail logs.
The two other teens were being held at the Darrel B. Hester Juvenile Justice Center in San Benito, where they are expected to go before a magistrate judge for a formal hearing.
“All (teens are) facing heavy, heavy bonds,” Manrrique said. “They probably won’t see high school next year.”