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Plea hearings in burglary cases continued

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 14th, 2013

Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — A Texas man accused of committing numerous burglaries across southern Colorado is prepared to enter pleas in two related cases, but not before his attorney has reviewed the latest charges against him.

Patrick Neil Emrick appeared in 12th Judicial District Court on Tuesday for two separate plea hearings. But Judge Michael Gonzales agreed to continue the proceedings until Deputy Public Defender Christopher Light has had a chance to review police reports at the center of a pending case.

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 said 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, Alamosa County Sheriff’s Lt. Jim McCloskey said earlier this year.

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 would lead to more arrests, as well as the recovery of additional stolen property.

Months later, an Alamosa County Sheriff’s Department investigation into a “cold” burglary case at the Zapata Subdivision led to new charges of first-degree burglary and aggravated motor vehicle theft.

Since that time, investigators 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 in April.

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 urged anyone who may be missing solar batteries, charge controllers or 12- to 110-volt transformers to contact the sheriff’s office.

Emrick remains in custody. His continued plea hearings on the two Alamosa County cases are currently set for Sept. 13.

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