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Woman arrested, man wanted in rash of area vehicle burglaries

Francis Whitlock has been charged with four counts of credit/debit card abuse, according to sheriff’s officials. (McLennan County Sheriff's Office photo)
Francis Whitlock has been charged with four counts of credit/debit card abuse, according to sheriff’s officials. (McLennan County Sheriff's Office photo)(KWTX)
Published: Nov. 26, 2019 at 12:22 AM CST
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An arrest has been made in a rash of vehicle burglaries in northern parts of McLennan County.

However, authorities say they aren't done catching the culprits, and on Wednesday released the identify of a second suspect.

The McLennan County Sheriff's Office has obtained four warrants for the arrest of Freddie Hutchinson, 27, on credit/debit card abuse charges.

Anyone with information on Hutchinson's whereabouts is asked to contact the MCSO at (254) 757-5095.

Sheriff Parnell McNamara says 20 to 30 vehicle burglary cases have been reported to his agency in the last week, mostly out of the West area, but also in China Spring and Crawford.

"We're trying to get word out to citizens to make them aware that this is going on and please keep a watchful eye in your neighborhood," said McNamara.

Some victims, who captured the suspects on home security cameras, described the burglars as “ninjas.”

"Some of the videos showed a group of the burglars dressed up--for lack of a better term--like a ninja, others, we have surveillance camera videos where they're just dressed in normal clothing," McNamara said.

Investigators had some leads on the suspects in “normal clothing.”

A man and woman were captured on surveillance video using one of the victim's credit cards Monday morning at the Walmart at Franklin Avenue and New Road in Waco.

Sheriff’s investigators say they caught woman around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Deputies recognized her in a car leaving a home in the 2500 block of Cole Avenue and stopped the vehicle.

The driver, Michael Sadler, was wanted on three warrants out of Bosque County: two for credit/debit card abuse, and one for unlawfully carrying a weapon on alcohol premises.

He remained booked in the McLennan County Jail Wednesday night in lieu of bonds totaling $20,000.

The woman was detained and taken in for questioning before being arrested and transported to jail.

Frances Whitlock has been charged with multiple counts of credit/debit card abuse, according to sheriff’s officials.

She was released around 5 p.m. Wednesday after posting bonds totaling $12,000, according to jail officials.

MCSO Investigators say the surveillance footage from Walmart shows her arriving and leaving in a silver sedan with a man they say is Hutchinson.

Investigators say the duo tried to use one card at Walmart unsuccessfully, then pulled out another card which worked.

They also attempted to purchase about $40 worth of food at Whataburger, but the card they used was declined, authorities said.

Authorities believe there are additional groups of suspects out there and more arrests on the way.

To try to catch all the criminals responsible, McNamara says deputies are beefing up patrols around the places hit including, but not limited to, areas around West including Tokio Road, Willie Nelson Road, Marable Street, and John Nors Road.

"Mainly what they're doing is jiggling the door handles of cars that are unlocked and stealing purses and belongings and what not, guns and anything in the vehicle that's of any value," said McNamara.

Most of the vehicles were unlocked, however, some were broken into, including a local police officer's vehicle, which was parked inside his garage.

His duty weapon was stolen.

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