Accused serial burglar’s uncle says police have the wrong man

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 10:45 PM

HOUSTON - He’s accused of striking homes from Texas to Las Vegas. Police said they have a serial burglar in custody after dozens of burglaries that centered on posh homes in exclusive neighborhoods.

Investigators said a man, who was living in Katy, is behind it all.

Police up north in Keller cracked the case wide open. Investigators with the Keller Police Department were looking into 13 burglaries in their jurisdiction.

A tip eventually led Keller police to a home in Katy in unincorporated Waller County.

Investigators executed a search warrant on a 10-acre property and hit the jackpot. They reportedly found nearly 2,000 pieces of expensive jewelry, wads of cash and stacks of designer purses inside the home.

“I’ve been here 25 years, and this the biggest case that we’ve had that has involved this much volume of property,” said Lt. Brenda Slovak with the Keller Police Department.

Police didn’t have a warrant to arrest the homeowner, 34-year-old Justin Andrews. However, police were able to take him into custody on an outstanding traffic warrant.

Investigators were quickly able to build their case against Andrews.

Police believe he is responsible for burglaries at the homes of former Dallas Cowboys running back Hershel Walker, state Sen. Jane Nelson, pro golfer Brandt Jobe and railroad company CEO Matt Rose.

Andrews was also linked to a string of recent home break-ins in the Memorial area of Houston.

One of those crimes was at the home of Edd Hendee, radio commentator and owner of a Taste of Texas restaurant.

Neighbors in Hendee’s neighborhood were relieved to hear of the arrest.

“It changes your life,” said neighbor Denise Bahr.

Andrews’ uncle insisted to KHOU that police have the wrong man.

“He’s got a bad past and everything. Everybody should get a second chance, and he’s got one, and I thought he was making the best of it,” said uncle Dan Andrews.

That business is called Andrew’s Jewelers. The 34-year-old claimed to run it out of his home.

“He runs a legit business,” said Dan Andrews. Dan Andrews disputed the accusations and refused to accept that his nephew was to blame.

Neighbors in the rural Katy neighborhood said it looked like Andrews was doing well for himself.

“Every year he throws a party. You wouldn’t think he would do something like that. Every year he throws a big party back there,” said neighbor Janet Villa.

Andrews has served time in Illinois for similar crimes and was arrested in Houston in 1995 for theft.

He is being held at the Keller Detention Facility on $3.6 million bail. Keller police will continue sifting through their evidence on Monday.

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