San Augustine man, friend allegedly steal more $250K in coins, guns

Alexander Hanak (Source: San Augustine County Jail)
Alexander Hanak (Source: San Augustine County Jail)
Esteban Garcia (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Esteban Garcia (Source: Angelina County Jail)

SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - San Augustine County Sheriff's deputies arrested 23-year-old man on felony burglary and theft warrants Monday after he and a friend allegedly stole more than $250,000 worth of collectible silver coins and "high-end" rifles and shotguns from a vault at his parents' house.

Alexander Hanak is being held in the San Augustine County Jail on a first-degree felony theft charge (more than $200,000) and a second-degree burglary of a habitation charge. Collectively, his bail has been set at $500,000.

Angelina County Sheriff's deputies picked up Hanak's alleged accomplice, Esteban Jonathan Garcia, 21, of Lufkin, on outstanding warrants Monday.

He is currently being held in the Angelina County jail on felony theft more than $200,000 and burglary of a habitation charges, along with two counts of motion to revoke probation for a prior theft charge. Collectively, his bail has been set at $1.01 million.

According to Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham of the San Augustine Sheriff's Office, Hanak asked his parents for permission to spend the night at their house earlier this year. However, he allegedly brought Garcia with him and had his friend hide outside until his parents went to bed.

Then Hanak opened a window, so Garcia could gain access to the home. Together, the two men "jimmied" the lock on a vault in the home's interior. They backed a truck up to the window and loaded it up with more than $250,000 worth of collectible coins and expensive rifles and shotguns like a Ruger 1 .306 rifle and a Browning over-under shotgun. Cunningham said the items had been collected over a long period of time.

"The victim said, 'That was my retirement," Cunningham said.

Hanak then allegedly sold "a sizeable quantity" of the silver coin collection to a Lufkin coin dealer for $30,000 in cash.

Cunningham said even though the rifles and shotguns were insured, there is no way to insure collectible coins because it is money. He said even though the San Augustine County Sheriff's Office has recovered some of the stolen items and is diligently trying to locate the rest of it, they may never recover all of the items.

Garcia was charged with burglary because even though Hanak allegedly let him in, he didn't have permission from the home's owners to enter the residence. Hanak was charged with burglary because he allegedly aided and abetted Garcia in the commission of the crime, Cunningham said.

After SACSO investigators tracked Hanak down, he identified Garcia as his accomplice in the crime.

Cunningham said Hanak has been in trouble with the law before.

"He runs with an unsavory crowd," Cunningham said. "This is not the first time he's stolen from his parents. They just chose not to file charges against him the first time."

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