Accused Tanglewood serial burglar captured

April 29, 2011 4:54:25 PM PDT
A man accused of being a serial burglar is set to get locked up and investigators say he was busted with the help of neighbors. Homeowners are still keeping a close watch on their properties.

We're also getting new insight into the case. Investigators say the suspected burglar did his best to blend in.

Jury selection for James Beattie's trial begins here in just a few weeks. Now we're learning more about this suspected serial burglar who concerned homeowners and police are calling a professional.

Homeowners in one quiet, upscale Tanglewood neighborhood have good reason to be suspicious. They're still cautious even though this man is now off the streets -- he's 52-year-old James Beattie. He is a suspected serial burglar who allegedly shot at a Houston police officer. He was captured in an elaborate sting operation.

"He always had camouflage clothes on and he must have been in pretty good shape to jump over all these fences," said resident Shirley Cheeseman.

Homeowners are calling him a professional. There's reason to believe Beattie may have spent the last 10 years breaking into people's homes, stealing their jewelry and then melting it down. He apparently drove a Mercedes in order to fit in with the rest of Tanglewood's residents and moved on rooftops using ropes and nets.

"Like Spiderman," said Cheeseman.

Beattie, who once may have been involved in the jewelry business, is accused of breaking into several homes in the Tanglewood neighborhood over the course of six months.

"But it won't happen again I don't think because the security, I think they are on to it," said Cheeseman.

With his trial set to start in a matter of weeks, homeowners are anxious to see that justice is done.

At least a dozen law enforcement officers were involved in that sting operation, which led to Beattie's arrest. He remains behind bars.

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