A high-dollar closet heist in The Woodlands is making national headlines. Three floors of shoes, jewels, clothes and furs were raided. In all about a million dollars in designer items were stolen.
Speculation is rampant on social media as to how the heist went down. Montgomery County detectives have questions and experts say the victims' insurance company will likely have questions of their own.
Theresa Roemer says she didn't set the alarm before she left her home in The Woodlands Friday night.
"Everyone at some point in their life has forgot to lock a door or set the alarm," Roemer said.
It was a momentary lapse that led to a million-dollar loss. Someone broke into Roemer's home and headed straight for her legendary three-story, 3,000 square-foot closet. The burglar got away with dozens of expensive watches and purses. But also an irreplaceable memento, a lock of her late son's hair.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is reviewing surveillance tape that Roemer says shows the thief covered head to toe in a white Hazmat suit.
Roemer's spokesperson told Local 2 the items were insured and said her client had nothing to do with the burglary.
The bold crime has many on the Local 2 Facebook page baffled, with hundreds weighing in, like Jody H., who wondered whether the Roemer's insurance company would have to pay a claim if she admitted not setting her alarm.
Philip Hilder, a former federal prosecutor who works with insurance companies to investigate high-dollar claims, says there are many layers to the case.
"The insurance company's going to have to have a good reason not to pay otherwise they could get hit with a bad faith claim for denying policy without just cause," said Hilder.
Montgomery County detectives have not accused the Roemer's of any wrongdoing. Hilder says as a matter of standard practice, insurance companies will ask their own questions.
"The fraud investigators are going to make sure policy holder had nothing to do with the crime and that's what their focus will be," he said.
Hilder says insurance investigators will look closely at the history of the security system usage and will want to know when the policy was taken and if all of the stolen items were on the policy.
Roemer is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. She said she built the closet to host fundraisers.
Montgomery County Crime Stoppers will pay up to a $1,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest or indictment of a felony crime. Call 800-392-STOP (7867).