HOUSTON – Surveillance video has been released of suspects accused of tying up a father and son, holding them at gunpoint and robbing more than $100,000 worth of property from their Memorial-area home.
James Rooney Jr. and his son, James Rooney III, survived a horrific ordeal after being held up on August 18.
"They took my son captive, kidnapped him inside that house," said the elder James Rooney.
His 17-year-old son was caught off guard when he got home to the Rooney’s sprawling mansion, located on Glenwood at Memorial Drive, walked inside and three masked men barged in behind him. Two of the suspects were wearing paintball masks, while the other wore a ski mask. All were armed with semi-automatic pistols, investigators said.
"I was just shocked so bad," said the son. "I couldn’t even think."
Police said the men were waving guns and demanding that the 17-year-old open the safe. He told them he didn’t have the combination, and the men decided to wait for his father to get home.
That wait lasted an hour.
"When I walked through the door, one had a gun pointed at me the other had a gun to my son’s head," said James Rooney Jr.
He believes that at least one of the men knew the layout of the house and questioned if it could be a service worker or a former employee.
Rooney owns a chemical service company in Channelview.
He said his son was forced to tie him up with cable cords. After opening the safe, the suspects cleared its contents and took several high-value watches, coins and firearms.
The elder Rooney said he was surprised by how much the suspects were talking.
"He started talking with me, ‘well you make lots of money. Don’t worry, you’ll make this money back in a couple of days,’" he recalled.
James Rooney Jr. was also a little offended when the masked men mentioned family values.
"[They said] you shouldn’t leave your 17-year-old in the house alone," Rooney recalled. "OK whatever guy. I’m not gonna take parenting advice from a thug."
The suspects then loaded the goods into the younger Rooney’s car and fled the scene. The car is described as a white, limited-edition Ford Foose Mustang with black stripes.
After the robbers left, the teen and his father managed to untie themselves and call police.
The family’s surveillance cameras were rolling and captured images of the suspects. Police are hoping anyone with information will contact authorities.
Crime Stoppers is offering an increased reward of up to $10,000, secured through private sources, for information that leads to the arrest of the suspects.