HOUSTON—A quick-thinking couple helped nab a couple of suspected car burglars when their lunch date turned into a surveillance operation Friday in west Houston.
You know what you’re supposed to do: park, put away any valuables and lock your car. Sometimes though, that’s not enough to prevent a break in.
Friday around noon, Manuel Ponce and Angie Gomez were in their car at Southwell’s Hamburgers at 9410 Gaylord Street, just off of I-10 and Echo Lane. They noticed a sedan parking in four different spots and then a man got out and began looking into other vehicles.
“Look babe they’re breaking into cars. They got white gloves on,” Ponce said. He called 911 and Gomez grabbed her cell phone. They recorded the break in and the crook grabbing a briefcase out of a suburban.
Ponce then ran into the restaurant asking for the owner, Lynn Saha.
“I said ‘Oh No!’ I knew exactly what happened. I’d been broken into before,” Saha said.
His laptop and briefcase with financial records were gone.
Meanwhile, the crooks simply drove around the corner to a Krogers, looking for more victims. What they didn’t know was that undercover Houston Police Officers were there because there has been a rash of car break-ins.
“They (HPD) have a task force working the I-10 corridor at times,” said Hedwig Village Police Sgt. Steve Packard.
HPD tracked the crooks as they drove to the Salt Grass Steakhouse at 8943 Katy Freeway, just a few more blocks away. All three locations are just about a mile apart along I-10.
Police arrested brothers Chris and Donnie Parish after another car break in at the restaurant.
“They had the two guys. They had my laptop. They had two or three other laptops and some cell phones,” said Saha.
It was a simple act, by everyday heroes who took the time and effort to get involved.
“I hope that somebody would do that for me,” Gomez said. Saha shook the couple’s hands saying, “Somebody was looking out for me. You guys definitely were.”