Caught on camera: Crook’s destructive liquor store break-in

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on January 18, 2013 at 7:45 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 18 at 10:26 AM

HOUSTON —- Surveillance cameras were rolling as a crook fell through the roof of a northwest Houston liquor store, causing extensive damage early Friday.

According to the Houston Police Department, it all went down around 3 a.m. at Roma Discount Liquor. The store is located in a strip center on Antoine near Pinemont.

Police said they received a call from the store’s alarm company, and officers arrived at the scene as the burglary suspects ran away.

Inside the store, the damage was already done. The crooks got away with only cigarettes, but they left behind several thousand dollars worth of damage.

The alarm company also called the store’s owner, Chuck Patel. When he arrived at the store he reviewed his surveillance video and provided it exclusively to KHOU 11 News.

The video shows one of the crooks falling through the ceiling in a piece of air conditioning equipment. The fall smashes bottles and shelves, but the crook crawls out seemingly unharmed. He then runs and empties a trash bag, using it to take as many cigarettes packs as he can. It’s believed he also took liquor. The man then panics as officers arrive outside the store. With the help of an accomplice, he manages to escape via the roof.

“It’s really bad,” said Chuck Patel. “It makes you scared.”

Patel estimates there’s about $12,000 worth of damage to his store, which was expected to remain closed Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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