Bernard Cardenas is a convicted felon who has served time for burglary in the Texas Department of Corrections. He was released on bond in a burglary case last November. Police suspect he may have committed at least 14 burglaries on Houston's east end from July 2011 through October of this year.
Cardenas is being charged in seven cases so far, and has allegedly given a confession to prosecutors. He was caught on October 18 after a victim's surveillance video and tips about his car led police to the black Acura he'd been driving. When they found him, officers say Cardenas had broken a door down, and was in the process of burglarizing a home. It had taken him just a minute to remove jewelry and other valuables.
When officers went to arrest Cardenas they discovered he was carrying a stolen loaded handgun, and inside his car they found his three-year-old son. The child's statements, say police, indicate he had frequently accompanied his father during burglaries.
HPD Officer Alfonso Yanez with the East Side Gang Unit explained, "His son repeatedly told us over and over again that his dad had a gun with a laser light. He also indicated to us -- the kid was pretty smart -- he indicated to us, too, that his dad stole laptops, stole TVs and would kick in doors."
The three-year-old is being cared for by his grandmother but CPS is also investigating.
Cardenas is believed responsible for burglaries at the following locations:
- 1000 Ogilvie on July 11, 2011
- 4900 Falvey on November 24, 2011
- 4000 Marlborough on June 5, 2012
- 5100 Vinett on July 2, 2012
- 1300 Loper on July 16, 2012
- 300 Axilda on August 20, 2012
- 1300 Axilda on August 29, 2012
- 5500 Shamrock on September 7, 2012
- 1100 Oak Meadows on September 12, 2012
- 800 Loper on October 4, 2012
- 500 Maroby on October 5, 2012
- 2000 Sieber on October 8, 2012
- 600 Gober on October 12, 2012
- 5400 North Shady Creek on October 18, 2012
Cardenas, 34, charged with burglary and being a felon in possession of a handgun. He is in the Harris County Jail held without bond.
Police are encouraging residents to purchase inexpensive reinforced steel door frame protectors to protect themselves.