San Marcos Police Lead Multi-Agency Takedown of Crime Ring
The San Marcos Police Department has concluded a multi-agency operation that broke up a major crime ring responsible for stealing heavy equipment, vehicles, and other property and led to the indictments of 20 suspects in June.
The investigation started in August 2017 when San Marcos Police discovered a trailer that had been reported stolen while investigating a suspicious vehicle call. The investigation, led by SMPD Detective Patrick Aubry, expanded after two more pieces of stolen equipment were recovered in September and October that year, including a Kubota excavator worth more than $50,000.
The investigation would eventually encompass multiple years and numerous agencies, including: Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, Austin Police Department, Hays County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Central Texas Auto Theft Task Force, Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Freer Police Department, Kyle Police Department, Buda Police Department, Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office, Taylor Police Department, Live Oak County Sheriff’s Office, Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office, Lower Colorado River Authority, Round Rock Police Department, Victoria County Sheriff’s Office, and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.
“This multi-year investigation represents the tenacity of one detective,” said San Marcos Police Commander Kelly Bomersbach. “Through Detective Aubry’s persistence and hard work, a vast criminal ring has been exposed, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment has been recovered. Detective Aubry received invaluable support from area crime analysts and other law enforcement agencies to complete this investigation.”
Over the course of the investigation, detectives identified a large group of individuals responsible for locating, stealing, transporting, storing, and selling stolen items across the state.
Police say the suspects stole equipment from construction sites and burglarized buildings and vehicles across Texas to obtain the stolen goods, including heavy equipment, vehicles, trailers, and tools. Other stolen items include electronics, jewelry, wheels and tires, a high end mountain bicycle, a commercial grade power washing rig, firearms, and construction equipment.
The suspects worked with their criminal networks to resell the stolen items for cash or significant quantities of methamphetamine at a fraction of the property’s value. Detectives also identified multiple people within the criminal network responsible for selling guns and narcotics.
Detectives suspect this ring stole more than $765,000 worth of equipment while in operation. Eighteen people across the state were indicted due to their participation in the theft ring, and investigators developed information that confirmed the involvement of members and associates of criminal gangs including Aryan Circle and Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
This investigation also led to the arrests of two other previously convicted felons not listed in this indictment in November 2017. On Nov. 21, 2017, detectives located and arrested Austin resident Robbie Jay Woosley (DOB 10/31/1977) for an active parole violation warrant in Manor while searching for stolen property related to the theft ring.
A search warrant in Caldwell County resulted in the arrest of another convicted felon that month identified as William Shane Lawrence of Lockhart (DOB 07/02/1973) who had an active parole warrant. Detectives also seized multiple firearms and methamphetamine after obtaining a search warrant at the Lockhart residence where Lawrence was living. Detectives seized stolen property connected to the theft ring at the Manor and Lockhart locations.
This investigation also resulted in the seizure of five firearms from three different convicted felons, as well as the seizure of marijuana, methamphetamine, and a large quantity of documents containing numerous unknowing victims’ personal information. The stolen documents included names, addresses, identification numbers, credit card numbers, and account numbers.
In June 2018, the following 18 subjects were indicted for property theft greater than r equal to $200,000, a first degree felony,and engaging in organized crime, also a first degree felony:
- JD Ross (DOB 06/16/1982, San Marcos); arrested at 1600 Block Aquarena Springs Dr.
- William Shawn Lawrence (DOB 05/17/1976, Kyle); arrested in Kyle
- Christopher Blake Thomas (DOB 01/01/1982, Austin); arrested at 1600 block Aquarena Springs Dr.
- Sonya Elayne Brown (DOB 02/08/1980, Kyle); arrested in Kyle
- Adam Ray Lawrence (DOB 10/27/1989, Red Rock); arrested by DPS in San Marcos
- Texas Ross Wiley (DOB 09/13/1972, Fentress); arrested Caldwell County
- Marco Antonio Castilla, (DOB 10/12/1985, Austin); arrested in Austin
- Arturo Corona-Reyes (DOB 03/21/1985, Austin) arrested in Austin
- Rick Alan Linda, NOT IN CUSTODY
- Ronnie Dale Belk (DOB 03/24/1970, Austin) arrested in Austin
- Randy Lee Mulkins, (DOB 02/07/1963, Round Rock); arrested in Buda
- Wesley Don Welch (DOB 10/17/1977, Manor); arrested in Manor
- Anthony Todd Voight (DOB 02/25/1966, Red Rock) arrested in Red Rock
- Kristy Gabrielle Ybarra, not in custody
- Dean Edward Swenson, not in custody
- Jess McCoy Hyatt IV, not in custody
- Gerald Douglas Searcy, not in custody
- Stewart Michael Wells, not in custody
In June 2018, the following two subjects were indicted for fraudulent use or possession of identifing information 50 or more itms, s first degree felony in Hays County:
- William Shawn Lawrence (also listed in EOCA indicted)
- Sonya Elayne Brown (also listed in EOCA indicted)
The following subjects were arrested during this operation:
- Robbie Jay Woosley (arrested in Manor)
- William Shane Lawrence (arrested in Lockhart)
- 2009 white Bobcat T-300 track skid steer
- 2011 yellow/blk Caterpillar 277c skid steer
- White Bobcat 763g skid steer front loader
- Green John Deere 3400 tractor
- Kubota KX-121-3 super series excavator
- 2011 orange Ditch Witch RT45
- Yellow / black 2015 Case TR270 skid loader
- 2017 black Big-Tex 16ft trailer
- 2001 Trailmaster 10ft utility trailer
- 2000 black homemade 18ft flatbed trailer
- 2005 Amera Trail 16ft black utility trailer
- 2016 Big-Tex 14ft trailer - 20 foot dovetail
- 2013 black Big Tex utility trailer
- 2014 black Big Tex trailer
- Red Exmark commercial 30 walk-behind mower
- Red Gravely compact-pro 32 zero-turn riding mower
- 2011 Ducati motorcycle
- Gray 2010 Chevrolet Malibu
- 2008 white Dodge pickup
- 2013 white Dodge Ram pickup
Welders & generators:
- Champion power equip 3400 watt generator
- Hobart 210 handler MIG welder
- Miller welder
- Lincoln Classic 300D welder
- Red Honda EU2000I generator
- 2004 Polaris Ranger
- Space gray Apple Macbook Air (model: a1466)
- Jewelry – silver men’s ring
- Four black tires & custom 26-inch wheels
- 2012 Trek Remedy 9 full suspension bicycle