A Texas county employee has been arrested for allegedly stealing fajitas, but it goes way beyond stealing food from the office refrigerator. Authorities say the man had been stealing fajitas for nine years, and had stolen more than $1.2 million worth of fajita meat. [related]
According to the Brownsville Herald, Gilberto Escaramilla worked for the Juvenile Justice Department in Cameron County, Texas. Over the past nine years, he’s been allegedly using county funds to purchase fajitas, then intercepting the deliveries and re-selling the fajitas to his own customers.
The scam went on for years, and he was eventually caught in August. He’d reportedly taken a sick day when a driver from the Juvenile Justice Department’s meat vendor called to say he was there with 800 pounds of fajitas for the kitchen.
The woman who answered the phone told the driver that he had to be mistaken, because the Juvenile Justice Department never served fajitas. The facility’s menu comes from the state, and there are no fajitas on it. The driver said she was the one who must be mistaken, because he’d personally been making fajita deliveries to them for nine years.
That’s when they realized something weird was going on.
Escaramilla was fired the next day. Investigators arrested him the next day, after finding a refrigerator full of fajitas in his house.
At first local authorities thought he’d stolen between $2,500 and $30,000 worth of fajitas over the years, but after investigating all the purchase orders, they realized he’d stolen $1,251,578 worth of fajitas.
“If it wasn’t so serious, you’d think it was a Saturday Night Live skit,” said District Attorney Luis V. Saenz. “But this is the real thing.”
Escaramilla was arrested on a felony charge of first-degree theft. His customers are reportedly cooperating with the investigation. Buying illegal meat from a shady government employee is not a good way to acquire ingredients, so here are 14 brilliant tips to save money on groceries.