Rio Hondo police continue search for burglary suspect, business owner in disbelief


    19-year-old Julian Rey Ortega. (Source: Rio Hondo Police Department)

    Business owner Miguel Alaniz is still in disbelief after his Rio Hondo business was burglarized over the weekend.

    "It affected us a lot," he said. "We had to close down, we lost about $2,000 worth of items. It doesn't help, it doesn't help us feel safe."

    Alaniz's business has been targeted before in the past, however, the culprits were unlucky.

    "He came in through this spot. He bended the sheet metal and he came all around here," Alaniz said as he showed us the areas the intruder broke in through.

    Rio Hondo police say the alleged suspect is 19-year-old Julian Rey Ortega. He is not only wanted in connection with this break in, but believe he is also responsible for several others.

    "His crew is associated with those types of crimes that go in and around the area. It’s not just Yeti coolers, it's everything. Anything that's not tied down, anything they can think of a pawn shop. His crew

    Is very active," Chief William Bilokury from the Rio Hondo Police Department, said.

    Chief Bilokury says Ortega, who is also known as "Flea," may have also targeted areas in San Benito, Harlingen and Brownsville.

    Ortega was released after being arrested last weekend. Since then, the police department has obtained an arrest warrant by the Cameron County District Attorney's Office.

    "Get him off the street so he's not terrorizing anyone else. He's breaking into businesses and breaking into vehicles, the issue is everyone does the hard work," Bilokury said.

    Something many, just like Alaniz, say will help them feel safer in the area.

    "We're a hard-working community and when it does happen it does affect everyone. It affects us hard," he said.

    The Rio Hondo Police Department does encourage the public to report any information you may have of Ortega's whereabouts, you can contact the police department or Crime Stoppers at (956) 893-2954.

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