Former Salvation Army worker charged with burglary in Maine

A West Hartford man wanted for burglarizing homes while working for the Salvation Army in 2007 was taken into custody in Maine.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Officers from West Hartford have arrested a 30-year-old Maine resident wanted for burglarizing homes while working for the Salvation Army in 2007.

West Hartford police responded to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s lock-up in Portland, Maine on Tuesday where they took custody of Gabriel Estela on burglary charges.

Police say Estela and James Ryals were both working for the Salvation Army picking up furniture in 2007 and used their job to gain access to homes to commit crimes. They would enter homes on legitimate business, but then would steal items and immediately pawn them.

Ryals, 37, was arrested in 2007 and later charged with burglarizing homes using his job at the Salvation Army along with Gabriel Estela.
Ryals, 37, was arrested in 2007 and later charged with burglarizing homes using his job at the Salvation Army along with Gabriel Estela.

Estela had finished servicing a prison sentence when West Hartford police officers took him into custody. He had previously waived his extradition rights and agreed to be extradited to Connecticut.

He was held on second-degree burglary, third-degree larceny and conspiracy charges.

Ryals was detained by officers from East Hartford in August 2007 on an unrelated matter and taken into custody by West Hartford police.

Estela was unable to post the $250,000 surety bond that was set by police. He was detained and is due in court on Dec. 30.

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