Surveillance tape helps police nab suspects

Port Lavaca police have arrested three men they believe are involved with a series of burglaries in the area.

A surveillance tape helped with the investigation, Port Lavaca Chief of Police John Stewart said.

On April 15, two intruders broke into a home on South Virginia Street. They took what Stewart described as a "substantial amount" of money, and left. The intruders didn't realize they had been caught on surveillance camera.

Watching the tape, the intruders move through the house directly for a locked door. In the video, one of them has his ear pressed to a cellphone.

Stewart said the intruder with the cellphone was talking to a third suspect, a relative of the family who was telling the robbers where to look in the house.

At the end of April, Kevin Martinez, 18, and Christopher Martinez, 32, both of Seadrift, were arrested by the Port Lavaca police. Mario Degollado, 19, of Port Lavaca, was also arrested.

Stewart said detectives used the surveillance footage obtained by the homeowner to narrow down their suspects. Soon, they found evidence tying the group to other burglaries in the area, Stewart said.

"The more we dug into things, the more burglaries we tied them to," Stewart said.

Christopher Martinez was charged with burglary of a habitation, a third-degree felony, while the other two were charged with burglary of a habitation, a state jail felony.