Police say man stole defibrillator from downtown Austin hotel



AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police have arrested a man accused of stealing a defibrillator and other medical equipment from a downtown Austin hotel.

According to the arrest warrant, on Oct. 18, Robert James Becker, 39, was stopped by a Texas State Trooper at Trinity and 15th streets for disregarding a pedestrian control device. The trooper says he noticed Becker was holding a defibrillator — used to help someone experiencing cardiac arrest — in his hands.

The trooper says he asked where Becker got the device and Becker said he didn’t know.

According to the warrant, Becker also had various other items with him, including a wrench for an oxygen tank and a security key attached to a ring on his hand. The trooper also says Becker had a 750 ml bottle of whiskey, which he told the trooper he’d drank the night before.

While officers attempted to track down the owner of the equipment, Becker was transported to the Sobering Center of Austin because he was intoxicated, police say.

Police ultimately tracked the medical equipment back to the Fairmont Hotel, where Becker was reportedly recorded on security camera taking the defibrillator from the building’s 23rd floor.

According to the warrant, the cost of the defibrillator alone was $1,695. Police say Becker has two prior convictions for theft — out of Brazoria County and the other out of Alvin Municipal Court.

He was charged with felony theft of over $2,500, in addition to charges for having two-or-more convictions at the time.

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