The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

February 14, 2013

Guilty plea in television, trailer theft ring case

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — A North Texas man has pleaded guilty to being a part of a ring involved in stealing truck trailers and televisions.

Manuel H. Arias-Robaina of Dallas entered the plea during a Monday hearing in the 354th District Court to one count of theft of property of the value of between $100,000 and $200,000.

Under a plea bargain arrangement, a more serious charge of engaging in organized criminal activity was dismissed and Arias-Robaina was placed on seven years of deferred adjudication probation, with 240 hours of community service and a $2,500 fine.

Multiple Royse City residents either pleaded guilty or were found guilty last year in what prosecutors claimed was an elaborate scheme to steal trailers out of Dallas.

On the night of March 5, 2010 deputies from multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in checking a trailer outside a residence on County Road 2472.

The trailer turned out to be reported stolen, along with a Toshiba television and other items.

A Penske truck was reported having left the residence earlier in the day and was stopped in Dallas County, where authorities discovered it contained more than 170 stolen Toshiba televisions.

A search warrant served on the residence on County Road 2472 revealed a recreational vehicle, in which one of the defendants and his family had been living, had been reported stolen by the Mesquite Police Department. A Kubota tractor and two semi trailers found on the property were also reported as stolen.

Deferred adjudication probation carries no finding of guilt, although those defendants who are found to have violated a deferred probation are subject to being sentenced to the maximum punishment.

The felony theft charge is a second degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.