Pelham police bust burglar ring

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Pelham police believe they broke a burglary ring that haunted trailer parks since October with the arrest of a 20-year-old suspect Friday.

Pelham detectives Richard Strickland and Eddie Carter arrested Juan Manuel Martinez on Friday at the Inn Town Suites off of West Oxmoor Road in Birmingham.

Martinez reportedly lived at different addresses in the Pelham area.

According to Lt. Scott Tucker of the Pelham Police Department, Martinez is suspected of burglarizing at least eight trailers in the Pelham area between October and December.

Following his arrest Friday, Martinez admitted to at least two other burglaries, Tucker said.

&uot;This is a bunch of burglaries for us to have in just a couple of months,&uot; Tucker said.

Martinez entered trailers and stole cash and jewelry in most of the cases, Tucker said.

Martinez may have known or been familiar with some of the victims, most of whom were Hispanic, Tucker said.

Some of the stolen property was recovered during the investigation at a motel room that Martinez occupied at the Shelby Motor Lodge.

Police found other property in local pawn shops and in Martinez’s vehicle.

Martinez was charged with six felony counts of burglary and placed in the Shelby County Jail under a $250,000 bond.

Tucker said Martinez could face more charges if additional victims cooperate.

Two females could also face charges in the burglaries, according to Tucker.

He said Martinez is the main suspect, but two women may have also accompanied him during the burglaries.

&uot;He pulled these females into a couple of them,&uot; Tucker said, adding that charges against the two females are still being discussed