AUSTIN – A woman currently serving a jail sentence on a theft charge is facing additional burglary charges after police say she broke into vehicles parked in the garages of southeast Austin homes.
Court documents for Marsha Wheeler, 40, state officers responded to the 7200 block of Bertram Court on the morning of Aug. 31 for a reported burglary. The victim told police she noticed the hatchback of her car was open and a laptop was missing. The affidavit also stated the victim said the neighborhood’s Facebook page had a post talking about a woman going around the neighborhood looking into garages and walking up to front porches. Police also noted a second laptop in an SUV that was also parked in the garage was missing.
While speaking with the victims on Bertram Court, officers were notified that a person matching the description on the Facebook page – later identified as Wheeler – had been spotted nearby arguing with another man. Police detained Wheeler and said they located a bag of tools on the ground near her bicycle, and that man of the tools had the name “Frank” on them. Wheeler allegedly told police the bag of tools was “not hers,” but would not say anything more when questioned by officers.
The affidavit stated police searched the area and found medical equipment, an Amazon box addressed to a resident, clothing, mail addressed to another resident and a backpack containing drug paraphernalia.
Police said as they were leaving the area of Montague Street, they were flagged down by a man walking his dog, who told them of an unattended bag and hammock nearby. Police located the bag’s owner via the alarm key for a truck found in the bag, who reported some items missing. Officers also located the owner of the tools, and the affidavit states the owner of the tools wished to press charges.
According to the affidavit, police spoke with Wheeler the morning of Sept. 1 at the Travis County Jail. Wheeler told police she met up with a man – who was not fully identified in the affidavit – and admitted to going through the truck, the hatchback and the SUV, and that she gave the bag to the man she was with. Police noted they will be continuing their investigation to find other possible burglary victims.
Online records at the Travis County Jail state Wheeler is being held on combined $10,000 bond, and that she is serving a 100-day sentence on a theft charge.