Cody Roberts, 37, pled guilty to first degree felony offense of Organized Retail Theft on July 21, 2016. The punishment hearing was November 1, 2016 in the 359th District Court of Montgomery County, Texas. At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Kathleen Hamilton sentenced the defendant to 30 years in prison (TDCJ). His range of punishment was 5 to 99 years or Life. 

In Texas, a person commits Organized Retail Theft if the person intentionally conducts, promotes, or facilitates an activity in which the person receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of stolen retail merchandise or merchandise explicitly represented to the person as being stolen retail merchandise. 

In this case, the felony Organized Retail Theft charge originated from events beginning on September 10, 2014. 

On that date, Roberts went to Weisner Hyundai in Conroe and purchased a Hyundai Genesis with a check for $60,000 for the vehicle. A couple of days later, Roberts visited Demontrond Jeep in Conroe and traded in the Hyundai Genesis for a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. Roberts paid the difference between the trade allowance and the Jeep with another check for approximately $30,000. Within a couple of days, Roberts sold the Jeep to a small dealership/auto wholesaler in Conroe for $37,600. All checks given my Roberts were returned for insufficient funds. 

At the punishment hearing, the State presented evidence that Roberts had once stolen his employer’s credit card and used it to rent a Maserati, later placing the Maserati on his personal vehicle insurance. Sometime thereafter, Roberts hit a dog causing damage to the Maserati and filed a claim with his personal insurance for the damage to the Maserati, despite the fact that the rental car company had already fixed the damage to their vehicle. It also came to light in the punishment hearing that Roberts had told a work-friend that Roberts had cancer and borrowed $1000 from the friend three days prior to Christmas of 2014. Roberts never paid the friend back.

Most interesting, while out on bond for the pending felony theft charge, Roberts approached an unnamed high-end car dealership and attempted to work an agreement to trade in a vehicle that Roberts did not own in order to purchase two vehicles worth over $100,000. Roberts had been arrested before for DWI, Forgery of a Financial Instrument, and Theft of Property.

Tamara Holland (White Collar Division): “Roberts was foolish to think that he could rip off several local car dealerships and get away with it. All he cared about was finding quick and dirty ways to put money in his pocket. Judge Hamilton sent a strong message to thieves who try and target Montgomery County businesses.” 

Contact: Prosecutor Tamara Holland (936-539-7800)