Cypress home invasion suspects use paddle boat for getaway

CYPRESS, TX (KTRK) -- A family was robbed at gunpoint during a pre-dawn home invasion. A deputy constable on contract patrol broke up the robbery, but not before two of them escaped, stealing a paddle boat as a getaway vehicle.

The family's beveled glass door was smashed, allowing the robbers to get in. Inside was a couple and their eight-year-old son. The father was said to be asleep on the couch at the time. He owns guns, but they were out of reach.

The robbers took the firearms, but the robbery was cut short by a deputy whose attention was drawn to a truck, idling outside the home, with three men inside.

They took off. The remaining suspects ran on foot. On one of the boat docks behind homes in the Sydney Harbor subdivision, they took a paddle boat and were able to get to the other side of the canal. The homeowner found a gun and cell phones on the dock Tuesday morning.

The deputy chased the three other suspects to a nearby neighborhood, where their truck ran into a ditch.

At least two homeowners there say they were awakened by a man beating on their doors, saying his mother had been robbed and he needed to come inside and use their phones. No one opened their doors.

Shawn Tichnor is one of those who woke to the noise. He believes it was 21-year-old Cornelius Lathers who was trying to get inside. Lathers and 20-year-old Toddrick Cartwright were arrested not long after that. Both face aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon charge; Cartwright also is charged with evading arrest.

Inside the truck, deputies say the guns stolen from the family's home were recovered.

Both suspects are said to be cooperating with investigators, providing information about their alleged accomplices. Both are said to be from Houston, and both have criminal records.

What has not been recovered is the missing paddle boat.
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