HOLLAND — Fingerprints found in a Temple hotel room by Holland Police Department led officers to the arrest of two people who reportedly took about $30,000 in jewelry from a woman’s home in Holland.
The home was burglarized July 9.
With the help of a Temple Police Department fingerprint specialist, prints found in the room from where the jewelry was heisted were identified, Holland Police Chief Shane Newsom said.
Temple Police gave the identities of the two people to Holland Police, spokesman Cody Weems said.
A Holland Police officer went with Temple Police officers to serve the warrant at a Temple hotel, where a hotel room was loaded with stolen property, guns, money and drugs, Newsom said.
When arrested, one suspect wore a gold bracelet. Photos of the bracelet reportedly were shown to the victim, who said it had been cleaned. Puzzled, the officer asked why, and she said her son wore it when he died and it had his blood on it before it was cleaned by the suspects.
“It warms my heart to know this woman can go to sleep and feel safe in her home knowing this suspect is in jail and has no way to victimize her again,” Newsom said. “It also warms my heart to know that a piece of her family (jewelry) that was missing will be returned to her as soon as possible.”
Arrested was John Andrew Irving, 32, of Holland.
Irving previously was arrested, indicted, charged and convicted because he and a woman broke into the Holland Church of Christ at 208 N. Austin St.
Irving was arrested Saturday on the new charge of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit another felony, a first-degree felony charge. His bond was set at $150,000, and he was in the Bell County Jail on Monday.
Temple Police Department got a search warrant for a room at the Oasis Motel, 2711 S. General Bruce Drive, found Irving and recovered the stolen property. Much of it was suspected stolen property from more than one burglary, Weems said.
A woman arrested along with Irving has not yet been charged by the Temple Police Department.
Newsom said Irving and the woman broke into the Holland Church of Christ at 208 N. Austin St. in October 2016 and were found asleep in one of the church’s rooms by Newsom. Irving admitted taking coins and other property from the church’s office.
About $85 in coins and a box of toys valued at $50 were taken, and there was a lot of damage to the church’s doors.
The woman was convicted of a Class A misdemeanor — the attempt to commit a burglary of a building. She was sentenced to seven months in jail.
Two guns were confirmed stolen, and Irving is a convicted felon, Newsom said Saturday.
Irving has an extensive record of felony and misdemeanor convictions, according to Texas Department of Public Safety criminal records.
His convictions go back to 2006 when Irving was convicted of forgery of a government/national institution/money/security. He received a sentence of four years deferred adjudication probation in a Georgetown court, and was convicted three times of theft of property less than $1,500 over the next few years by Williamson County law enforcement agencies. His longest sentence on the theft charges was 180 days, and other sentences ran concurrently with that one.
However, Irving was convicted again in February 2019 of theft of property with two or more previous convictions. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Irving also was convicted in 2014 of the possession of a controlled substance and sent to jail for 180 days on the Williamson County charge. Austin Police officers arrested him in 2013 for theft of property less than $1,500 with two or more previous convictions. He was only sentenced to 30 days in jail.
His 2017 misdemeanor conviction for the church’s burglary received a sentence of 12 months in jail.
Irving was last released from custody in October 2017 from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville.
It felt good to get a “really bad guy” off the streets,” Newsom said. “It was just a great arrest for us. Took some time, but this case is solid and that’s what I like. Getting justice for my citizens is why I do it.”