Although Corpus Christi Police Department have quashed rumors of widespread looting in Corpus Christi during Hurricane Harvey, they said there were a few crimes of opportunity made during the storm including some burglary offenders.
For instance, at around 9:45 a.m. Saturday police were dispatched to the 4100 block of Ayers where a burglary was in progress. A caller said a man had kicked in the window to a drugstore and went inside.
When police arrived they found a man who matched the suspect description at a home in the 4100 block of Carlton. They took him back to the store where he admitted to being inside, but not breaking the window. However, the witness advised that he was, in fact, the suspect who broke into the store.
The suspect, 20-year-old Marcus Sutherland-Trevino, was arrested for burglary of a building.
A little more than 20 minutes after that call came in, officers were dispatched to a convenience store in the 2000 block of Gollihar Road for reports of a burglary in progress. There, they found the suspect, 24-year-old Elpidio Ledesma, exiting through the broken glass of the store's front door.
Ledesma was arrested for burglary of a building and was also found to be in possession of marijuana.
These kinds of crimes didn't stop Saturday. At around 7:51 a.m. the next morning, police said they were flagged down by several citizens pointing toward a cell phone business in the 2700 block of South Staples Street. Officers observed that the front window of the store had been shattered.
Witnesses said a man with an orange shirt over his head was last seen running toward the back of the store. A search began and officers later located the suspect, 28-year-old Marcus Saenz, in the 1200 block of Brentwood. After a short chase he was apprehended and positively identified by witnesses.
Saenz was arrested and charged with burglary of a building, criminal mischief and evading arrest.
On Sunday, CCPD Lt. John Hooper said while these crimes related to the hurricane are crimes of opportunity, they do not fit the definition of looting. However, the spread of those rumors over the weekend resulted in a number of calls to police.
Still, Hooper said the Nueces County District Attorney has promised the harshest penalties for anyone caught committing such thefts in connection with the hurricane.