Retired police officer protects neighbors' house, holds burglary suspects at gunpoint

One man saw another family's house being robbed on the Near Northside Friday and jumped into action holding those thieves down until police arrived.

HOUSTON -- One man saw another family's house being robbed on the Near Northside Friday and jumped into action holding those thieves down until police arrived.

"They kicked the door in, as you can see here," said Cecil Conde, the homeowner who was being robbed. "They were just grabbing, grabbing TV sets, computers, everything. There were other things that have got a lot of value, a lot of sentimental value that they didn't go for.

The homeowner wasn't there -- nor were his wife and children -- but Tony Zavala was home.

He noticed a suspicious car outside and saw the thieves making off with his neighbor's stuff.

"So I ran out there, I grabbed a pistol, ran out there and told them to stop, I got two of them on the ground. Those two ran off," said Zavala, adding that he coaxed the two thieves that had come off to come back.

Then he and his wife held them at gunpoint until police arrived.

"We just feel angry about it when I saw they were taking so much stuff from her," said Patsy Zavala, Tony's wife. "They were running."

Tony used to be on the force for the Houston Police and says his instinct helped.

"It kicks in. They're robbing my neighbor. I've known him since he was a kid. I can't let him get away," Tony Zavala said, adding that he shot someone two years ago who was trying to break into his own home.

"We take care of each other," Tony Zavala said.

"He knew what he had to do to protect not only the neighborhood but his neighbors here and for that I'm so thankful for them," Conde added.

Zavala says he put in a surveillance system a few years ago in order to combat against all the issues he was having in his neighborhood.

Conde used to work for KHOU from 1999 to 2004.


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