Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — A Texas man accused of committing a string of burglaries across southern Colorado is facing new theft-related charges — even though he’s been in custody for several months now.
Alamosa County Sheriff’s Lt. Jim McCloskey said Friday that an ongoing investigation into the alleged crimes led his office to arrest Patrick Neil Emrick for first-degree burglary and aggravated motor vehicle theft.
The department began its investigation of a “cold” burglary case at the Zapata Subdivision on Cedar Ridge in late-December 2012.
Since that time, investigators have recovered many of the guns, tools and household items that were allegedly stolen from the area. Witnesses were also able to place Emrick in possession of a stolen vehicle, McCloskey said.
According to McCloskey, investigators retrieved many of the items from various locations in Alamosa, Chaffee and Costilla counties. They also found solar power components that may have been stolen, and they urge anyone who may be missing solar batteries, charge controllers or 12- to 110-volt transformers to contact the sheriff’s office.
Deputy Public Defender Christopher Light estimated earlier this month that Emrick was facing charges in about six different cases. Additional cases may be pending, based on allegations that Emrick stole a motorcycle in Pueblo County, as well as a number of rifles from an address in Costilla County.
The 41-year-old man, whose last known address was in Rockport, Texas, was arrested in northern Alamosa County on Jan. 21, following a report of a burglary near Mosca.
He was initially under investigation for alleged second-degree burglary, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In that particular case, the district attorney’s office subsequently charged him with theft, aggravated motor vehicle theft in the first degree, criminal mischief and criminal impersonation.
Authorities say their initial investigation led them into Costilla, Pueblo and Saguache counties, where they cleared five previously reported burglaries.
In Saguache County alone, investigators solved two alleged burglaries, McCloskey said Friday.
Meanwhile, in Costilla County, the district attorney’s office alleges that Emrick broke into a Fort Garland resident’s building in late January with the intent to commit motor vehicle theft.
It also claims that he “obtained or exercised control over” a vehicle that belongs to Belvedere Property Management, LLC. The vehicle is valued at more than $20,000, according to the criminal complaint against him.
At the time of Emrick’s Jan. 21 arrest, authorities reported that they recovered equipment, tools and vehicles with a combined value of more than $200,000. They said they were confident that their investigation will lead to more arrests, as well as the recovery of additional stolen property.
A jury trial on the Alamosa County charges is currently scheduled to begin in July. However, Light said on April 12 that he is trying to work out a “global disposition” with prosecutors that could lead to a plea deal.
In the meantime, Emrick remains in custody at the Alamosa County Detention Center, according to McCloskey.
Anyone with additional information about Emrick or his alleged activities, please contact the sheriff’s office at: 589-6608.