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Burglary at Garza Gym Electronics stolen; 1 juvenile arrested

University Police say three juveniles broke into the Garza Gym Jan. 31 and stole electronics. OSCAR CASTILLO/ THE RIDER

One of three juvenile suspects has been arrested in connection with last month’s burglary of Texas Southmost College’s Garza Gym.

Around 3:30 a.m. Jan. 31, Brownsville Police Department officers spotted suspicious individuals fleeing the TSC campus carrying several UTRGV labeled bags and reported the incident to university police.

UTRGV Police notified the campus community of the burglary via email later that day, which stated the suspects broke
a window to gain entrance into the building, which is used by UTRGV staff and students.

“When the [Brownsville Police] officers approached the individuals, they took off running,” UTRGV Police Chief Raul Munguia said. “We went out there and started assisting them and also checking the area. We found the gym had
been broken into and one of the subjects that Brownsville PD had been looking for. From our understanding, there was two that ran off.”

The three male juvenile suspects are believed to reside in the neighborhoods adjacent to Ringgold Road. One has been
detained by BPD and is facing burglary of a building charges, Munguia said.

The chief said the juvenile was questioned but refused to identify the other subjects.

Mike Ostman, recreation program coordinator for UTRGV’s Brownsville campus, said he called University Police on Feb. 1 asking which doors had been broken into and was told “all of them.” They asked him to identify what may have been taken from his office.

“What I witnessed when I got here was, if there was not a window in the office, they had smashed a hole through the door,” Ostman said last Wednesday.

He said some of the items stolen included a $1,000 Mac computer, a $2,500 public address system, a 16 GB USB, a flashlight, a UREC branded hat and a box cutter. Ostman has gotten no updates from University Police since Sunday.

“They haven’t replaced the windows, yet. They haven’t replaced the doors, so they just put wood over everything,” Ostman said.

Asked what additional precautions University Police asked them to take, Ostman responded, “They haven’t really told us anything, other than to just keep an up-to-date inventory with serial numbers because there really is nothing we could have done to prevent it. Everything was locked in here. We got very fortunate, most of our valuable stuff is in a steel cage and they couldn’t get into that. So, I mean, we did everything right. We secured everything.”

UTRGV Police reminds the campus community members to always lock their doors when leaving their office or apartment. Make sure all windows are locked and report suspicious people immediately.

“On our end, we do have active patrols going, you know, patrolling around. So does TSC,” Munguia said. “However, if some of the community does happen to be out there and, for example, we do have some faculty [that stay] working very late … the part of the community that happens to be around, you know, if they see something that’s suspicious or that doesn’t look quite right, don’t hesitate to call us because we’re here.”

University Police can be reached at 882-8232 in Brownsville/Harlingen or 665-7151 in Edinburg.

— Jesus Sanchez contributed to this report.

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