Tarleton Police Department saves the Grassburr

Francisco Castro, Contributor

On the weekend of Feb. 9 – 12, the Office of Campus Life and Student Publications was broken into. Located on the second floor of the Barry B. Thompson Student Center, the office reported stolen a Canon camera with a detachable lens, two iPads, petty cash from The Source desk, an Apple keyboard and mouse and an external hard drive containing Fall 2017 content for the Grassburr, among other things.

According to Stanley Parker, investigator for the Tarleton State University Police Department and the lead investigator on the case, states that the suspect was 26 year-old, Cesar Cueller, who is under custody of Tarleton Police Department, he was a former Tarleton student. Cueller broke into the Campus Life offices and stole the items and later returned to the student center to steal more items, only to leave in the backseat of a police car.

“[On Feb. 15] Officer Shloeman arrested the suspect for theft of an employee’s purse and some items in the Bookstore,” Parker said. “After the arrest, Shloeman referred to me about how [the suspect]’s actions were similar to what had occurred at the theft at the office. From speaking with the suspect, we were able to start an investigation, which led to us finding some of the stolen items, the most recent item being the Canon camera on March 21.”

Despite the efforts, one iPad, a tool bag, a lunchbox, the Apple keyboard and mouse and the petty cash has yet to be recovered.

“We are still trying to speak with the suspect, trying to get some information from him,” Parker said. “We have marked the property stolen under the National Crime Information Center in the event someone tries to pawn the items off, we’ll get an alert and a location of where the item was pawned.”

While the search continues, Cueller will be facing charges that include theft, possession of a controlled substance and marijuana, as he was carrying methamphetamine and marijuana when he was arrested and possibly a second charge of theft, depending on the investigation of the remaining stolen items. The items that have been recovered have been returned to the Campus Life and Student Publications office.

As for his motive, Cueller claims that he “likes to steal things and that he is a Kleptomaniac,” Parker states.

“The suspect would snoop around the offices, searching for one that may be unlocked,” Parker explains. “One of the ways to prevent this sort of thing from happening is to ensure that all office doors are closed and locked when they are not in used. In this case, he found an unlocked door, made his way into the office and stole the items.  Fortunately, the inventory was very well detailed with serial numbers and such, which allowed us to easily identify and recover the stolen items.”

“As for the students, I would suggest that they ensure their dorm rooms are locked, that they keep their personal items close to themselves, and that they mark their property so that it may be identifiable in the event it is stolen,” Parker states.

It is cases such as this that show how devoted the people of Tarleton Police Department are to ensuring the safety of the Tarleton family.

“The people of this department care deeply about the safety of the students and the school,” Parker. “We’re there to be of assistance anytime”.