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Arrest in theft of TV sets, selling meth at Manteca Holiday Inn Express

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Arrest in theft of TV sets, selling meth at Manteca Holiday Inn Express

Tony Gonsalves, 38, of Manteca is escorted out of the Holiday Inn Express Wednesday morning by officers on burglary and possession of drugs for sale charges.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED October 15, 2009 2:15 a.m.
The theft of several flat screen LCD televisions and hotel bedding brought about the arrest of a 38-year-old Manteca man Wednesday morning.

Tony Gonsalves, 38, was charged with commercial burglary, possession of methamphetamine for sale and possession of stolen property in his third floor room at the Holiday Inn Express hotel on Commerce Drive.  

During the investigation and reviewing of the video tapes a second Manteca man,  Tony Rogers, 40, was arrested for violation of a court ordered restraining order.  He was found in the second floor room of one of the women officers were interviewing.

Gonsalves was on searchable probation from a previous domestic violence conviction, police said. That gave them authority to search his room on the third floor of the hotel.  They also went on to search his home on West Yosemite Avenue as well as his truck parked in the hotel parking lot. They found nothing, they said, except more black garbage bags.

The hotel staff called officers saying three new and still boxed TVs had been taken from a third floor storage room with the theft recorded by security cameras. A cardboard box of hotel bedding was reportedly located in a hallway.

During Gonsalves’ two-day stay the staff reported seeing numerous short term guests enter and leave his third story room giving officers reason to suspect he was selling the drugs he had in his possession. Police said they also discovered over $600 in cash in the room along with a small amount of marijuana and a crank pipe.  Special electronic cards used to operate the television sets were also found in his possession, officers said.

Investigators said the video showed Gonsalves with two different women as he was carrying out the TV sets. One approached a video surveillance camera and smeared the lens with lipstick – but not enough to completely obstruct its view. In another case a door was opened in front of a camera to block its operation.

The missing televisions were not recovered although it was believed they were taken out of the hotel in large black plastic garbage bags.  One TV still boxed in the storage area had been placed in black garbage back but not removed from the room.

Empty TV boxes were located in the dumpster area outside the hotel, police said.

Both men were taken to the Manteca jail.  Gonsalves, bail was set at $28,000 and Rogers was set at $25,000.  Both men made bail and were released Wednesday afternoon, police said.
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