Illegal Immigrant arrested in St. Tammany after thefts - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Illegal Immigrant arrested in St. Tammany after golf cart, trailer thefts

Jorge Munguia-Martinez (STPSO) Jorge Munguia-Martinez (STPSO)

St. Tammany deputies have arrested an illegal immigrant accused of stealing trailers and golf carts from homeowners' properties over the past year.

Right now, 32-year-old Jorge Munguia-Martinez faces one count of theft over $1500.  But more charges could be on the way.

Investigators call it a brazen, midday heist.

"He stole an entire trailer, which was full of merchandise.  So he just backed his truck up, hooked the trailer up and took it away," Capt. George Bonnett with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office explained.

That was just one of the items deputies say Munguia-Martinez stole.  They say, over the past year, Munguia-Martinez helped himself to golf carts, lawn mowers, power tools, and two more trailers.

In all, $50,000 worth of goods were taken from the eastern side of the parish, all the way to Lacombe.

"The only witness that we had in any of these crimes was the video camera," Bonnett said.

A surveillance camera mounted to a home in Lacombe captured video of Munguia-Martinez in May.  Investigators say the video shows the suspect stealing a golf cart from the property.  The camera not only caught the suspect's face, but also his truck.  That video eventually led deputies to Munguia-Martinez.

Capt. Bonnett says Munguia-Martinez started confessing to the thefts, and then investigators got another surprise.

"We were recovering some of the property from pawn shops where he tried to sell it and we received some information that some of the property may have come from thefts that occurred in Mississippi.  So we're working with authorities there to try and solve their cases as well," Bonnett said.

Investigators are in contact with the owners of much of the equipment, but now they need some help.

The Sheriff's Office is still trying to determine who owns a kayak that was stolen from the Highway 90 area in Slidell. There's also a lawn edger and some power tools that have yet to be claimed.  So if you've had a kayak or some type of equipment stolen from your yard within the past year, contact the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office at 985-898-2338.

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