HOUSTON -- Austin Police say a father from Houston turned in his own son after learning the teen broke into a Houston Police officer's civilian vehicle and stole his gun and other law enforcement equipment.
“I said, ‘You broke into a policeman’s car?’ I said, nah, nah, I’ve had it with you,” said Theodis Daniel in an interview KVUE-TV. "I said, ‘Man you gotta stop what you’re doing this is getting out of control.' I said, ‘You gonna stop?’ And he wouldn’t answer me. So I stopped it for him.”
The teen confessed to his father during a FaceTime conversation with his son who was at an Austin apartment at the time. Daniel says his son admitted to breaking into and burglarizing about 250 cars that were parked along running paths and in shopping malls.
“I love him,” Daniel said. “But he’s got to wake up from wherever he’s at right now.”
Cristian Daniel, 18, is charged with one count of theft of a firearm. Austin police say he is also suspected in numerous other crimes since the beginning of the year, including vehicle and home burglaries.
Austin Police say HPD officer E. Torres was on vacation in Austin in early March when his weapon was stolen from his vehicle. Austin Police say he also stole a flashlight, a neon police set, a gas mask, a carry bag, an HPD ticket book and the Glock 43 and ammunition.
Police officers are allowed to leave equipment and their department-issued firearms in their personal vehicles, according to an HPD spokesman. However, they must be reasonably secured.
The Houston Police Department has launched an internal investigation into the theft to find out if the gun and equipment were stored properly.
The department’s insurance should cover the cost of the stolen items, said the police spokesman.
The father has not helped his son post bond and says he made the right choice.
“I needed him to think about what direction he wanted to take in his life. He can stay where he’s at or does he want to come out and be a productive, law abiding citizen right now.”