Man arrested after recent string of 23rd Street auto thefts

Juan Lara

A Weslaco man was arrested after authorities were able to link him to four recent auto thefts.

Juan Lara was taken into custody on Wednesday.

Each of the vehicles stolen were targeted from 23rd Street auto dealerships.


January 26: A Dodge Charger was stolen from Jerry TMs Best Auto Sales on the 400 block of South 23rd St. A suspect asked to go on a test drive of the vehicle, when the sales person needed to stop the car for gas. When the sales person went to pay inside the store, the suspect drove off with the car.

March 9: A suspect threatened a sales person with a handgun when they stole a Ford F-150. The pick-up truck was taken from Rafael and Gloria TMs AutoMart on 200 South 23rd St. The suspect pulled out the gun during a test drive.

April 4: Another Ford F-150 was stolen at gunpoint, but this time from AutoMax Motors on the 3000 block of South 23rd St. During the test drive, the suspects pulled out a gun, forcing the sales person to give up the truck.

April 9: A Lincoln Navigator was taken from Express Motors on the 3100 block of South 23 St. The suspect asked to test drive the car, and was able to take off without sales person TMs permission.

Lara was charged with two counts of Aggravated Robbery, First Degree Felony, and two counts of Auto Theft, State Jail Felony.

The 41-year-old TMs bonds for Aggravated Robbery were set at $250,000 each and his bonds for the Auto Theft charges total $50,000 each.

The second suspect involved in the April 4 robbery was arrested two days after the theft.