AUSTIN, Texas - Four people were arrested after police said they were involved in several storage unit burglaries.
Austin police said the group is linked to dozens of storage unit burglaries, which resulted in thousands of dollars in property theft. Detectives are still working on identifying victims in these cases, and they believe there are more than 100 additional victims.
Michael Dominic Ruiz, Daniel Gabriel Milner, Rex Daniel Fagile, and Renata Ava Shepherd were arrested. Police said they committed the burglaries over the last six months across Austin.
Two storage facilities between W 5th and W 6th are among the dozens of sites targeted by a theft ring, according to Austin police.
One of the possible victims, Jesus Yanez spoke to FOX 7 by phone about the arrests.
"I heard a story, back a few months, that they were also all the way down to Waco and the same people breaking into units," said Yanez.
In February, Yanez showed his storage unit off Burnet Road after it was broken into. He said specialized wood-working tools were taken.
"It wasn't too much, but it was too much for me. I had to get a loan and start purchasing the tools that I need as I go," said Yanez at his storage unit in February.
Breaking open in the case, Yanez said doesn't guarantee getting justice.
"I would like to get my tools back, you know, I work hard for them," Yanez stated. "It is good for the city to have somebody that, you know, that's all their stolen property. And. Yeah, I won't feel a little, I guess satisfied. What it will be better for me, is to get my tools back. Honestly."
APD Detective Dawn Hanson spoke to FOX 7 in February. She said a key part to getting property returned, after arrests are made, can come down to a simple question.
"I would ask people, ‘Hey, do you have the serial number?’ and they said, ‘No, we didn't think to write it down,’" said Hanson in February.
Yanez hopes his tools will be easy to identify. But being victimized, not once but three times in Austin, is the last straw.
"Honestly, it's very disappointing the way they're handling these kinds of situations. Yeah, I actually moved, I no longer live in Austin. That's the main reason. But its one part of it," said Yanez. "It doesn't motivate me to keep working. You know, in a city that's really, you know, I refuse to care about my business."
Some locations identified by APD include:
- 1321 W 5th St., Public Storage
- 1213 W 6th St., Public Storage
- 10931 Research Blvd., Public Storage
- 12318 N Mopac Expy., Public Storage
- 2301 E Ben White Blvd., Public Storage (S. Industrial Dr.)
- 1507 W William Cannon Dr., Security Self Storage
- 6204 Oakclaire Dr., Stash-N-Go Oakhill
- 1714 E Parmer Ln., Life Storage
- 2707 ONeal Ln., Stash-N-Go Storage
- Unknown storage units in Kyle and Buda
- Storage units in Pflugerville behind Casa Garcia’s
- Unknown storage units in Thorndale
Officials say this is an ongoing investigation and additional charges are expected to be filed.
Anyone with information about these or similar incidents should email the APD Burglary Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.