School Bus Thieves Arrested

December 19, 2007 - Houston Police Auto Theft Division investigators have arrested three suspects and are searching for another in school bus thefts that occurred between January and August of 2007.

Three suspects, Mauro Yanez (H/m, DOB: 9/2/71), Bernabe Moreno (H/m, DOB: 10/28/67) and Samuel Morales (H/m, DOB: 11/17/87) are in custody. Yanez and Moreno are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity in the 208th State District Court. Morales is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in the 182nd State District Court.

A fourth suspect, James Leon Jackson (H/m, DOB: 12/30/84), is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and is still wanted. A photo of Jackson is attached to this release.

In August 2007, investigators in the Auto Theft Division were alerted to numerous school bus thefts that began in January. During the investigation, officers conducted surveillance and identified Yanez as the primary suspect. He and Moreno were arrested on December 15. Morales was arrested on September 5.

Most of the school bus thefts occurred at private schools or churches. The following is a list of the incidents involving stolen school buses:

· 8600 FM 1960 on 1/1/07
· 10800 Gessner on 3/24/07
· 7512 Wallisville on 3/26/07
· 125 Little York on 6/16/07
· 7126 Springdale on 6/18/07
· 8413 Melrose on 6/19/07
· 8413 Melrose on 7/2/07
· 6121 Homestead on 7/10/07 (Recovered)
· 2002 Vaughn on 7/19/07
· 3730 Main on 7/23/07
· 100 Cavalcade on 8/20/07
· 1126 Tidwell on 8/22/07
· 1126 Tidwell on 8/22/07

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of James Leon Jackson is urged to contact the HPD Auto Theft Division at 713-308-3500 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

GO/JFC 12-19-07

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.