A South Texas man has been arrested after stealing $1.2 million worth of fajitas over nine years. The bizarre plot led to first-degree theft charges, a felony with a potential sentence of several years in jail.
Gilberto Escamilla was a worker at the Darrell B. Hester Juvenile Justice Center. On August 7, he took the day off work to attend a medical appointment. While he was away, a driver with Labatt Food Service called to verify an order of 800 pounds of fajitas. A worker with the Juvenile Justice Department told the driver that the order was a mistake, as the department did not serve fajitas.
The driver balked at the claim, stating that his company had been sending fajitas to the department for almost a decade.
The next day, Escamilla returned to work, where he was confronted about the fajitas. He admitted that he had been stealing them for nine years and selling them on the side.
Felony Theft Charges in Texas
Under Texas law, theft charges can range from Class C misdemeanor all the way to first degree felony.
- If the property stolen is valued at $2,500 or more, but less than $30,000, the crime is a state jail felony.
- If the property is worth $30,000 or more, but less than $150,000, the crime is a third-degree felony.
- If the property is worth $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000, the crime is a second-degree felony.
- If the property is worth 300,000 or more, the crime is a first-degree felony.
For the most egregious theft cases, the penalties can include up to $10,000 in fines and 5-99 years to life in prison. These serious penalties mean that if you have been accused of felony theft in Texas, your best chances of having your charges reduced or dismissed is to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney.