Harlingen 'Grinches' get arraigned

Suspect Jose Castillo

A group of four alleged "Grinches" who tried to literally steal Christmas from their neighbors faced a judge on Friday morning.

A Harlingen family told police they arrived to their Lozano Street home on Thursday afternoon only to find signs of forced entry and all their Christmas presents and stocking stuffers stolen.

The family reported that burglars had taken more than $7,000 worth of property and Christmas gifts.

Harlingen police tracked a group of four suspects to a house directly behind the family on Los Arboles Circle.

Police identified the suspects as:

  • Jeremy Ryan Hazelwood, 19
  • Jose Castillo,19
  • Daniel Gallegos, 22
  • Freddy Mendez, Jr., 17

Police said all four men were from Harlingen and that a possible fifth suspect remains at large.

Investigators were able to recover $6,400 worth of property from the four suspects.

Authorities did not release a motive in the crime but the four alleged burglars were presented before Harlingen Municipal Judge Valeria Garcia.

Each of them remained in custody under $45,000 in bonds for burglary and enganging in organized criminal actitivty charges.