Serial Burglars - Washed Up And Grounded After Arrests

September 21, 2007 - Officers with the Eastside Patrol's Divisional Gang Unit were
responsible for the arrest of a serial burglar who was breaking into eastside area laundry rooms located in various apartment complexes. Once inside, the suspect would burglarize the coin operated machines, and escape with the money from these machines. The burglaries date back to April of this year, with the last one occurring in late August. Officers with Eastside Patrol Division's Crime Analysis Unit gathered information on the burglaries, 22 in all, (believed to be related) and generated a crime bulletin advising officers to be aware of the incidents and possible suspect. On July 17, 2007, an off-duty officer working an extra job at a grocery store in the 600 block of Cesar Chavez was approached by an employee after a suspicious male was seen attempting to cash in a large amount of quarters. The officer, having knowledge of the bulletin, spoke to the male, obtained his information and completed an offense report, which was later linked to the suspect. After obtaining evidence from various locations that were burglarized,
officers with the Eastside Divisional Gang Unit positively identified the suspect, interviewed him, and obtained a felony warrant for criminal mischief. The suspect, Michael Valderas (H/m, DOB: 11/19/65) was arrested on September 5 without incident. He is charged with felony criminal mischief in the 263rd State District Court.


Officers with the Special Operations Division were able to arrest a suspect believed responsible for a number of burglaries in high rise buildings located in downtown Houston. The burglaries occurred in both 2006 and 2007. The suspect forced his way into these businesses and stole laptops, primarily. On September 14, 2007, officers with the Special Operations Division responded to a burglary of a building call in the 1200 block of Louisiana, where a number of laptops were stolen. Officers obtained fingerprint evidence at the scene and were provided still photos of the suspect in addition to a surveillance tape. The fingerprints were taken to HPD's latent lab for processing and a match was found. Officers then managed to obtain a previous photograph of the suspect and compared it to the suspect photos provided from the burglary, and learned it was indeed the same suspect. Later that day, officers were conducting surveillance in the downtown area and saw a person matching the suspect's description. Assisting officers responded and the suspect was arrested in the 2600 block of San Jacinto. Kevin Earl Lee (b/m, DOB: 5/1/60), is charged with burglary of a building in the 182nd State District Court. This investigation is ongoing and being investigated by HPD's Burglary and Theft Division
for possible additional charges.

These officers have demonstrated their dedication, initiative and the willingness to go the extra mile to solve these crimes. Subsequently, two more serial burglars are now behind bars.

GO/VHS/NJM 9-21-07

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