WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Almost a year after the first of two safe burglaries at a Wichita Falls fast food restaurant, a suspect is now in jail.
Ricardo Patrick Garcia, described as a former shift leader at the Taco Bell at Southwest Parkway and Greenbriar, is jailed on two counts of burglary of a building.
Police said the first burglary happened May 23, 2022, just five days after Garcia was fired for falsifying work hours, and just three weeks after he pleaded to embezzlement of another business where he worked.
Surveillance video shows a man entering the restaurant after hours and going straight to the safe under a counter, pulling a black bag from his jacket, entering the safe code and emptying the cash from the safe.
He then goes to all three cash registers and uses a key to open them and takes the cash out. Almost $1,000 cash was taken.
An employee and a family member identified the suspect as Garcia from photo lineups.
Less than three months later, on August 20, 2022, it happened again in the same way.
A man in a gray hoodie, black pants and black shoes entered the store at 3:14 a.m. and again opened the safe with a code and the cash drawers with keys. The manager told police there was about $1,000 in the safe and $150 in the registers.
The video shows him doing all that within three minutes, then leaving.
Police were told Garcia never turned in his work keys and had the assigned code for the safe.
Police said they also have a warrant for Garcia related to embezzling from another business prior to these charges.
Garcia was arrested January 12, 2022, for stealing from another business where he worked –Stripes on Southwest Parkway.
He pleaded guilty May 2, 2022, shortly before he was fired at Taco Bell, and got 4 days jail.
Police said $1,220 was taken while Garcia worked at the store. The store provided video showing Garcia taking cash from the safe, and even the cash given to him from customers.