Two of three arrested may be responsible for string of west side home burglaries

Authorities say three men arrested Monday may be responsible for a string of west side home burglaries
April 30, 2012 8:14:04 PM PDT
The Harris County Precinct 5 Constable's Office says there have been a number of burglaries in the Memorial area over the last month. And now, it's seeing a break out of similar burglaries just a few miles away.

The break-ins happened at a neighborhood near the Katy Freeway and Beltway 8. Investigators are now looking to see if there's a connection between crime in these neighborhoods.

It was a very bad Monday for some homeowners in the Autumn Oaks neighborhood near the Memorial area. Some came home to find someone uninvited had been in their house.

"My daughter's house and someone kicked in the door this morning after they left," said Judy Nockolds.

It also turned out to be a very bad Monday for three burglary suspects in the Memorial area. They were picked up by Precinct 5 constable's deputies after a neighbor in the 600 block of Electra saw something suspicious and called.

"One of the patrol officers who arrived on the scene made contact with an individual, his story didn't add up quite right and they discovered it was a burglary in progress at the home next door," Harris County Precinct 5 Constable's Office Assistant Chief John Laine said.

Investigators say they found Steffen Bales knocking on a door, acting as a distraction to give Dean Denzel Campbell and Nathaniel Sewall time to get away.

Campbell and Sewall were arrested after foot chases.

But the way the trio operated caught the attention of investigators.

"Yeah at this point, we believe these a probably connected to a lot of burglaries that are happening from the Galleria area out to the far west part of Houston," Laine said.

In the Galleria-area burglaries, a burglar knocked on the door to see if someone was home, and if no one was home, the burglars would go around the back and throw a brick through a glass window.

In both, burglars took the same things.

"Principally jewelry, guns and just items they could load in a little bag to carry out," Laine said.

Campbell, Sewall and Bales are not accused of the Galleria burglaries; three other men are charged with those crimes.

And from one of the homes broken into on Monday, a word of advice.

"It's a good reminder for everybody to put the alarm on even if you're just gone for five minutes," Nockolds said.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office says one of the suspects in the Galleria-area burglaries has a court date Tuesday. One of the three, Bobby Ray Powell, is still at large.


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