Teen arrested in string of 37 car break-ins, 2 others sought

Nolanville police have arrested a teenager in a series of more than three-dozen vehicle break-ins in the quiet Ridges neighborhood and are looking for two other suspects.

A Ring Doorbell camera recorded the incident. (Nolanville Police Dept.)

Beginning on Christmas Eve, the burglars struck 37 times and stole two vehicles.

In response, police ramped up patrols and early in the morning on Feb. 19 an officer caught one suspect in the middle of the street.

A Ring Doorbell camera recorded the incident that led to the arrest.

The video shows one man rummaging through a vehicle and captures a glimpse of two others across the street.

As Nolanville Officer Zachary Oeller pulls up, one suspect ducks behind the vehicle he was burglarizing as the officer catches the third suspect in the middle of the street.

Coincidentally, Oeller had pulled over all three suspects earlier that night.

"He noticed an individual standing next to the truck with a backpack, and he stopped to talk to that individual," Nolanville police Chief Daniel Porter said.

"He determined that he was involved in burglaries and determined he was one of the people he had contacted and identified earlier."

The officer recovered items from several vehicles after the arrest.

Najhee Gardner, 19, of Temple was taken to Bell County Jail.

He is free on bond.

The two other suspects in the video have not been located, but are believed to live in Killeen.

The two vehicles that were stolen from the neighborhood were recovered in Temple.

However, police say weapons that were taken from other vehicles have not been found.

In all the cases, the doors were unlocked on the vehicles, and the keys were left inside of the vehicles that were stolen.

Police are urging residents to remove valuables from cars and secure all property.

"Another thing we found that people don't think about is leaving the garage door openers in your car because bad guys get in, they find that garage door opener, and they don't have to get in right then," Porter said.

"They can come back and get in later. People don't think about that, but that's happened before too."

The department is working with police in Harker Heights where car burglaries took place around the same times as the ones in Nolanville.