Houston mayoral hopeful Tony Buzbee victim of million-dollar heist

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston mayoral hopeful Tony Buzbee says he pulled a handgun on a burglar who eventually made off with artwork and other valuables worth $21 million from his River Oaks mansion Monday morning.

"I woke up at 6 a.m. and went downstairs and noticed our front door was open," Buzbee said. "I grabbed my pistol, went upstairs to check on my children and I told my son to call 911."

Buzbee said he and his two kids were upstairs. At one point, he pulled a handgun on the suspect, but the gun misfired.

According to the prominent attorney, the burglary took place as he slept inside of his gated estate at the corner of River Oaks Boulevard and Del Monte, in Houston's most exclusive neighborhood.

Buzbee said he woke up to see a man trying to take a motorcycle in his garage.

The burglar also walked through the downstairs portion of his home and stole a number of items, according to Buzbee.

"Took a lot of watches, I used to collect watches. Took art off the walls, clearly been in there for a while, I think they took seven paintings."

A preliminary report by Houston police stated the loss of property is valued at several million dollars.

"They somehow were able to get in through a garage, and through a little used door in the back of the house," Buzbee said.

The aspiring mayoral candidate isn't new to drama surrounding his gated mansion. In 2017, a woman was charged with damaging $300,000 worth of art inside Buzbee's home after the two went on a date. That case was settled and never went to trial.

That same year, he also upset his River Oaks neighbors after parking a World War II tank along River Oaks Boulevard and refusing to move it for a while.

Monday's burglary happened just hours before Buzbee was set to announce his bid for mayor. In his interview with ABC13 Eyewitness News, Buzbee says he called police first shortly after 6 a.m., and then waited for 17 minutes before calling a second time. HPD officers showed up thereafter.

Houston police say according to its records, a call came in at 6:17 in the morning as trespassing. The caller apparently did not say a person was actually inside the home. That call was categorized as a priority three call.

At 6:29 a.m., a second call was received stating that someone was inside the home. That was a priority one call, and police showed up within minutes.

Investigators have located some surveillance video at a nearby home. So far, no arrests have been made.


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