Man arrested in case of two burglarized businesses

Published 3:52 pm Monday, March 11, 2024

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A man has been charged in burglary and theft at two different Austin businesses in the early morning hours of March 8.

Aiden Eric Anderson, 19, has been charged with two felony counts of burglary, two gross misdemeanor counts of theft and damage to property and a misdemeanor of damage to property after he was arrested for breaking into Buy the Way Food Mart and Star Liquor, the latter of which Anderson allegedly stole over 30 packages of cigarettes.

According to the court complaint, an Austin Police officer was dispatched to Buy The Way Food Mart, located in the 1200 block of Oakland Place SE, on a report of burglary.

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An employee, who was arriving to work at around 4:15 a.m., noticed that the panes of glass on the front door had been shattered and that the door on the north side of the vestibule was completely smashed.

Video footage, reviewed by the owner and the officer, allegedly showed, the suspect, later identified as Anderson, approaching the property on foot from the southeast corner at around 3:35 a.m. He’s then seen walking back and forth before using a yellow and black claw hammer to break the vestibule door glass.

Anderson then tried breaking the door to the store area, but was unsuccessful in gaining entry and was seen exiting the area.

After securing the area, the officer began searching for Anderson, and discovered the shattered door of Star Liquor, located in the 200 block of 11th Street NE. The officer, along with a second officer, cleared the store and discovered disturbed merchandise as well as four packs of cigarettes on the floor behind the counter.

Video reviewed by the store owner and officers showed the door being smashed – again by a hammer – at around 3:43 a.m. After entering the store, Anderson, wearing the same clothes witnessed in the first burglary, transfers merchandise into a black duffle bag before leaving at around 3:44 a.m.

An APD detective identified Anderson from videos and photos from the burglaries and connected him to a motor vehicle theft case, in which Anderson was observed wearing the same distinct sweatshirt..

When questioned, Anderson denied being involved in the burglaries, claiming only that at some point in the morning he went to a friend’s house for cigarettes. He stated that he was wearing clothing different from that seen in the video footage and when shown pictures from the video went on to claim that he no longer had the sweatshirt he was seen wearing in the video.

Instead he claimed he gave the sweatshirt to a friend, known only as “Akon” and that he had a similar build or body type as Anderson.

A search of Anderson’s residence turned up a black duffle bag and 37 unopened packs of cigarettes, which Anderson claimed he was “stockpiling.” Shoes similar to what was seen worn in the video were also found at the home.

Anderson was also allegedly seen on video leaving his residence wearing clothing seen in video from the burglaries, however, he was also seen returning wearing a different , dark-colored sweatshirt and carrying an item consistent with a duffle bag in his right hand.

An employee at the residence discovered that  a yellow and block hammer at the residence was missing.

Anderson’s next court appearance will be an initial appearance on March 21.