HOUSTON -- Thieves targeted a 24-year-old entrepreneur just months after he opened a small storefront in southwest Houston and made off with nearly his entire $8,000 inventory of high-end sneakers.
"Wow. It was crazy," said James Jones after watching the surveillance video that captured the two thieves in the act early Thursday morning.
Two men dressed in hoodies, but with their faces visible, peer into the windows of the shoe store in a business strip mall at the 11900 block of Wilcrest near 59 and the Beltway around 4:30 a.m.
An hour later the men return and, with what looks like a crowbar, smash through the front window. Then they use trash bags to haul away the majority of Jones' inventory of Air Jordans, Nikes and Diadoras.
"About $7,000 to $8,000 worth of shoes and clothes," he said. "They saw what they wanted and they came in and got it."
The surveillance video captures good images of the faces of both men. Watch the accompanying video to see if you can help identify them. Houston Police are investigating. The thieves were quick, in and out of the small store in about two minutes.
"I couldn't believe that it had happened," said Jones. "I didn't think anyone knew about us over here. I don't even have a sign on the marque."
But when asked about the thieves, he had this to say: "They're horrible. I think they're the worst. They're the worst. I hope y'all get caught. I really hope somebody turns y'all in."
But as Jones swept up the shattered pieces of his front window and picked up the empty shoe boxes that the thieves left behind, Jones' mom stopped by to check on him, and to give him a bit of a pep talk.
"You say true to you," she said. "You got God on your side, baby. Never giving up."
"It's not going to stop me at all. Not at all," Jones answered. "To do this right now is my dream. So I'm not going to let nothing stop me from doing this.
"This is a very bad situation to be in but it can do nothing but make me grow stronger. No matter what happens to you. If you're able to build it once you can build it again."
If you can help identify the men in the surveillance video, please call Houston Police.