HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A suspect was arrested for a string of break-ins at Houston-area libraries committed within almost four months.
On Monday, Houston Police Department officials announced that 51-year-old James Wilson was charged with burglary of a building.
Police said at least 10 Houston Public Libraries were burglarized between Oct. 17, 2022, and Feb. 1, 2023, during off-hours.
In all cases, Wilson is accused of using a sledgehammer to get into the libraries to steal money from copiers and cash machines, which tend to have about $30 to $100.
HPD said that based on surveillance video, police were able to identify Wilson and link all the cases to him.
"It's a soft target. Because it's a library, it's a public building, and there's probably not as much security as there is with other buildings. So it's a little bit easier to break into," Sgt. Marvin Collins with the Hedwig Village Police Department said during an afternoon press conference.
"They're expecting less of an alarm system than a bigger building would have," Collins said. "That's probably why they target the libraries."
Last week, on Monday, Feb. 6, Hedwig Village police officers responded to a report of a burglary on Corbindale Road.
When officers arrived, they found a glass door shattered and Wilson inside where a copy machine cash box had been burglarized. He was then arrested and charged.
HPD said they were notified by Hedwig Village police and spoke with Wilson, connecting him to another burglary on Jan. 5, 2023, at the Pleasantville Neighborhood Library on Gellhorn Street.
Wilson was subsequently charged.