Criminal Justice

Tipsy French Suspects in Texas Courthouse Break-In Tried Out Gavel, Robe and Sombreros, CNN Says

Police arrested five foreign nationals early this morning in a burglary of the old Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio.

Although federal authorities were brought in to investigate, it appeared as the day progressed that tipsy French or French Moroccan tourists had entered the building as a poorly thought-out prank, according to CNN. Allegedly, two men played with a judge’s gavel and robe, apparently left beer cans in court and wandered the halls wearing sombreros they found in a display case.

Contrary to initial news reports, it now appears that those responding to the courthouse burglar alarms simply waited outside for two suspects who had entered the building to exit. When they did, authorities arrested the pair and three alleged compatriots nearby at about 1:30 a.m.

Suspects Adil Ajjaid, 27; Hicham Ajjaid, 25; Mehdi Ajjaid, 21; Camille Huet, 25; and Meissa Mithra, 24, reportedly are cooperating with authorities.

The Associated Press reported this morning that a rented recreational vehicle associated with the men contained three-month visas, cell phones and computers.

And ABC News went further, reporting that authorities allegedly found pictures of courthouses and water systems from throughout the U.S. in the rented RV. The article relies on information from unidentified law enforcement officials.

However, spokesman Luis Antu of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said it contained laptops and a map, nothing that appeared unusual, CNN reports.

A full security sweep, including a bomb search, was conducted before the courthouse opened at 7 a.m. today. Although the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are investigating as a precaution, the incident is currently considered a burglary, according to Antu.

“We’re in the process of finding out what was going on or why they were in the building,” he said this morning. “We got ICE and the FBI involved because we’re dotting I’s and crossing T’s to make sure we don’t have anything more serious.”

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.