HOUSTON - A well-known Houston restaurant owner and conservative talk show host is reminded that no one is immune from determined criminals.
Edd Hendee was out of the state on Feb. 14 when his home in the Memorial area was targeted by a brazen thief.
Hendee, who owns a Taste of Texas, was flying a friend to Mobile, AL. That friend s wife had been trapped on board Carnival Triumph, and Hendee was helping them have a happy reunion at the port.
While he was away performing a good deed, a criminal was getting to work.
You can t ever assume it s in the middle of the day, and it won t affect you, and it won t happen to me because frankly it did happen to us, said Edd Hendee.
Surveillance video shows the suspect canvassing Hendee s back patio. The criminal has a visible holster on his side as he peers into the home for about ten minutes.
He eventually props open an unlocked back door and waits to make sure an alarm doesn t sound.
This guy acts pretty cagey. Knowing someone is in the home, you would think at that point, he d leave and go to a deserted home, explained Hendee.
Hendee s daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters were in an upstairs bedroom at the time.
That doesn t stop the criminal from making his way inside. Surveillance video shows him covering his face with an outdoor chair cushion while he dashes into the master bedroom.
I just panicked because our daughter and her husband and her baby were upstairs, said Nina Hendee.
Nina Hendee came home less than 15 minutes after the thief struck.
She first noticed the master bedroom door was locked and quickly realized what had happened. The criminal stole two guns from a safe and a purse from a car parked outside.
Nina Hendee said she was especially unnerved when she took a look at the surveillance video.
When we saw the gun, that s when I really became fearful because he s a frightening looking man, she said.
The suspect hit two other homes in the Memorial area after leaving.
The bold crimes have prompted the Hendee s to reach out to their neighbors. They held a neighborhood watch meeting on Monday night, and neighbors discussed ways they could look out for one another.
It s just a violation. We live in this beautiful home, and we re afraid to go to bed at night now. It s horrifying, said Sheri Griffin, whose home was also broken into on Feb. 14.
The purse stolen outside the Hendee s home was later recovered in Galveston County. The Hendee s doubt he will return to their neighborhood.