Fingerprints lead to suspected vending machine burglars

A suspected Coke machine burglar is in custody and a warrant has been issued for the arrest of a woman police believe to be his accomplice.

According to Harris County court records, Jonathan Davis, 23, of Humble, was in the middle of prying open a Coca Cola vending machine in the laundry facility at Bender Hollow Apartments in Humble when a resident walked into the room and surprised him. Michelle Renee Markus, 36, of Houston, allegedly served as the lookout. The witness abandoned her plans of doing laundry and went to call police instead. Humble PD investigators managed to lift prints from the vending machine, court documents say, which led them to Markus. Her regular association and “history of arrests with defendant [Davis]” subsequently led to his identification as a suspect. The witness later identified both suspects from photo arrays.

The damage to and value of stolen property from the vending machine was estimated at more than $3,200. Both Davis and Markus were charged with state jail felony criminal mischief ($1,500-$20,000) and arrest warrants were issued Oct. 10. Davis was arrested Oct. 12 and, as of Thursday morning, remains in Harris County Jail on a $5,000 bond. Markus has not yet been taken into custody.

County records show Markus has a prior criminal history dating back to September 2009, with convictions for theft and trespassing, as well as five arrests for prostitution. Davis shows, for the same time frame, a history of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, burglary of a motor vehicle, forgery and two convictions of misdemeanor theft.


Written by Stefanie Thomas,
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The language barrier between English-speaking investigators and Spanish-speaking witnesses is a growing problem. (Updated 28 February 2011)