Second theft in 2 years investigated at La Grulla city hall

LA GRULLA — The Starr County Special Crimes Unit is investigating the theft of public funds from a city hall safe, the same safe from which $100 were stolen last year, according to Robert Caples, commander of the unit.

About $3,000 in cash and over $2,000 in checks were reported missing by Mayor Pedro Flores, according to a news release posted on the unit’s Facebook page Tuesday.

Flores referred questions about the case to City Secretary Amy Bush who referred questions to investigators.

The theft, Caples said, happened sometime between the closing of the business day on Tuesday, Sept. 5, and the opening of business day on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

It was reported that day to Police Chief Desi Olivarez, who sits on the crime unit’s board, who turned the case over to the unit. They began their investigation last Thursday.

Caples said surveillance video was being reviewed and city employees were being questioned but declined to say how many.

“We are covering the most basic parts of the investigation; we are covering the most obvious people in the investigation,” he said. “If that doesn’t yield results we will intensify the investigation until we do get results.”

In January 2016, a city employee was arrested for stealing $100 from the same safe. The employee, an accounts payable clerk who worked in the city offices, confessed to stealing the money after an investigation by the county attorney’s office.