Robert Raymond Reynolds, 52, spent 13 years of his adulthood between 1985 and 1998 protecting and serving the city of Duncanville as a police officer. Now, he could spend much longer than that behind bars.
Deputies in Hunt County arrested Reynolds on felony burglary charges Monday, calling him the leader of a major theft ring.
"It's disheartening," said Deputy Jeff Haines. "It's not what you take your oath for. It's not what you stand up for and it's not what the community expects out of you."
Deputies had already been investigating a string of burglaries from private storage facilities in rural areas of Hunt County when a Vietnamese couple from Plano provided a break in the case while doing some antique shopping.
"We have a significant amount of property crimes especially in our rural areas. Police in Rains and Ellis counties were also investigating widespread thefts at storage facilities in recent weeks," said Haines.
Investigators said as the Plano couple shopped, they came across a table that belonged to them and had been stolen from a storage facility being sold on consignment at an antique store in Quinlan. The couple then called police.
The owner of the consignment store told investigators that the table and other items, including a stolen 20-gauge shotgun, all came from Reynolds who reportedly had claimed the merchandise came from his father's storage.
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Haines said the antique dealer showed him enough merchandise, given to him by Reynolds, to fill a semi.
"We have televisions, electronics, DVD's, CD players, hi-end stereo equipment," said Haines, "If I had to ballpark it, I would say $75,000 [worth] or more, easily."
Following his arrest in Hunt County, officers from Terrell picked up Reynolds, who reportedly is cooperating with the investigation.
Police do not believe he worked alone and said the number of victims and recipients of stolen merchandise could extend beyond the three counties currently involved. Haines believes more stolen property may still be located and that police may actually have merchandise stolen from people who don't even know their storage facilities have been broken into.