25 year old is already in jail on a home burglary charge

Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal

A 25-year-old man who is already in the Jim Wells County jail facing charges of burglary was served with warrants Wednesday charging him with two robberies that occurred in the area last week.

Christopher Lee Rutledge has been in the Jim Wells County jail since Sunday, when he was arrested and charged with the burglary of a home in the 1200 block of Dolores Street.

On Wednesday, investigators with the Alice Police Department and the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department served Rutledge with warrants in the county jail charging him for two counts of aggravated robbery.

Those two robbery charges stemmed from incidents that occurred on Reynolds Street in Alice and on Beam Station Road in Rancho Alegre last week.

The first incident occurred at the Silva Groceries store on Beam Station Road July 9. According to sheriff's department reports, a man wearing a ski mask used a hammer to open a cash register in the store and fled with $400 in cash.

The second incident occurred at the Times Market on Reynolds Street in Alice Saturday.

According to police reports, a man walked into the store wearing a Halloween mask, a blue long-sleeve dress shirt, blue jeans and brown gloves.

The report stated "the suspect was holding a crow bar in his right hand and hit the cash register with it while commanding (the store clerk) to open the register while reaching over the counter."

Rutledge was already in the jail after he was arrested for burglary on July 11. According to Alice Police Department reports, officers were called to a home on Dolores Street in reference to a burglary.

Upon arrival, officers made contact with a resident of the home who reported a lawn mower had been stolen from a garage in the home.

Rutledge, who was known by the victim, was named as a possible suspect and was arrested Sunday following an investigation into the case.

Alice Police Chief Danny Bueno praised the investigators for their work on the case Wednesday, and said it appeared Rutledge is a drug user who was stealing money to pay for drugs.

"We can identify him as being a drug user," Bueno said. "These are good cases, and he's going to be behind bars for a good while, which is where we want him to be."

Rutledge remained in the Jim Wells County jail Wednesday on $121,500 bond.