WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A man who has had numerous arrests in past years for pulling car door handles and taking items was once again caught and put in jail.
Salvador Prieto, 33, is charged with burglary of vehicles with previous convictions.
A police officer was in the area of Westside and Wooddale off Seymour Highway around 3 a.m. Friday morning, November 11, looking for reported suspicious noises.
The officer saw a man come out of a residence in dark clothes and carrying a backpack and began watching him as he went down Bluebonnet Drive and then behind a convenience store on Seymour Highway.
He then saw the suspect looking into cars in an apartment complex parking lot with a flashlight and pulling on door handles.
When confronted, officers on scene said he tried to run, but they caught him.
When detained, they said he told them “You got me. It’s hard times, you know.”
The hard times Prieto referred to go back almost 15 years, with 31 arrests and more than 15 convictions and a listing on the police Most Wanted List.
In many car thefts when he got wallets and purses, police said stolen credits cards were used the same day, and store employees described the man using the cards as having crossed eyes.
Surveillance video from stores was posted on social media, and they received numerous responses identifying him from people who recognized his crossed eyes.
Police said stolen cards were used at Walmarts, a Sonic, Pizza Hut, a motel and other businesses soon after they were taken, and sometimes before the owners knew they were stolen.
In one theft in 2017, police said Prieto stole drugs and a gun from a drug dealer, and the drug dealer was hunting for him to shoot him before he was taken into custody at the Wayfarer Motel.
In a theft in which a wallet with credit cards was taken, police posted surveillance video from a store where four people were buying items with a stolen card.
They said one of the suspects soon came forward to confess and identify the other three and told them they had burglarized or looked into between 50-60 cars looking for wallets, cash and cards.
Prieto’s sentences for past convictions range from 180 days to 18 months.