2 city employees accused of stealing $10,000 piece of equipment, selling it for $180

HOUSTON – Two City of Houston employees, who worked for the Parks Department, are accused of stealing a $10,000 piece of construction equipment and selling it for $180 worth of scrap metal.

Edmund Todd and Ramon Nava have both been charged with theft.

Prosecutors say the men stole a concrete breaker from the 5500 block of Beechnut near Meyerland.

It was sitting under a tree in the median and some construction workers were using it to replace a piece of the road, but they left the area for a while and the concrete breaker was unattended.

It belonged to a private construction company.

Witnesses tell Channel 2 Todd and Nava were in a City of Houston work truck when they pulled up and stole the expensive piece of equipment.

Surveillance video shows the city truck in the area that day.

"I did see a city work truck with a trailer out here across the street in the median,” said one man who lives nearby.

He noticed the men attempting to steal the concrete breaker, but didn’t think anything of it. They were in a city vehicle, so he thought they were doing city work.

"I didn't think anything of it, I thought they were doing what they do,” he told KPRC Channel 2.

Prosecutors say they weren’t doing city work and now both men are charged with theft.

Channel 2 has learned Todd has a lengthy criminal record. He did time for aggravated robbery and the attempted capital murder of a police officer. He was out on parole when the theft occurred and is now being held without bond.

Channel 2 wanted to know how Todd got a job working for the city, given his extensive criminal background.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office told us in an email, “This employee was hired three years ago. We are supportive of second chances, but are reviewing all of our hiring practices.”