Abilene police have released the following regarding the arrest of Jason Wales, the man suspected of being involved in multiple storage unit break-ins around Abilene:
On the afternoon of December 12, 2013, officers with the Street Crimes Unit (SCU) concluded an intelligence-led policing operation that netted a burglar linked to at least nine victims whose storage units were burglarized. The investigation was spurred by storage unit break-ins that began in late September. A concerted effort by multiple divisions within the Abilene Police Department (APD) involved surveillance and intelligence sharing that ultimately helped develop leads concerning a suspect.
On the morning of December 12th, SCU officers watched a suspect vehicle, a pickup truck, drive into a storage unit facility. The truck was then observed leaving the facility and further surveilled. Officers quickly confirmed that the storage unit at the facility had been forcibly entered. The suspect vehicle was then stopped for further investigation. Patrol Division officers involved in the traffic stop contacted the driver who was identified as Jason C. Wales (DOB: 11/01/71). Officers also observed, in plain sight, a load of property in the bed of the suspect’s pickup truck. That property was quickly linked back to its victim. The suspect was arrested for an outstanding warrant out of Jones County that had been issued that same day for misdemeanor theft. There were no other persons involved in this incident.
Wales was taken to the Law Enforcement Center for questioning and the stolen property in the vehicle was seized. The property was later released to the victim. The investigation revealed that Wales was criminally responsible for multiple storage unit burglaries while on parole. The investigation also revealed that Wales had committed five thefts involving consumer-grade propane tanks from various locations in Abilene.
Approximately $6,500 in stolen property has been recovered during this investigation. The incidents involved several different storage facilities in Abilene. APD acknowledges that there may be other victims that have yet to report their losses. We encourage these potential victims to contact the Responsive Intelligence Division at 325-676-6588 if they have been recently victimized in a storage unit burglary. Wales was arrested for the December 12th incident (felony Burglary of a Building) and for his active arrest warrant. These criminal cases will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s office for their consideration of charges. This investigation continues.
If members of our community utilize storage units, APD encourages you to work with management at these facilities to ensure you are doing everything reasonably necessary to protect your property. APD also encourages these clients to open and spot-check their storage units on several occasions throughout the year to ensure they have not been tampered with or forcibly entered surreptitiously. If the client is unable to do this, they are encouraged to assign approved designees who can.
Jason Wales was arrested Thursday, December 12 in connection to several storage unit break-ins that happened around Abilene over the last few months.
Wales was arrested while in the act of breaking into a storage unit last week, and police believe he may have been responsible for up to 30 break-ins around the Abilene area, though he is only being charged with eight at this time.
Police believe there may be other reports of break-ins that have not yet come in that may also be connected with Wales.
Wales has also been connected with several propane tank thefts from various stores around Abilene.