Career criminal possibly tied to new series of crimes in Houston area

HOUSTON – A career criminal who appears to repeatedly target homes and businesses in the Settegast neighborhood of northeast Houston has been connected to a new series of crimes there.

"We just started noticing a rash of burglaries," veteran Houston police Investigator Greg Shelton said.

Anthony Hopkins, 31, had not been charged as of Friday, but Shelton believes he is responsible for eight separate incidents of theft and burglary since November at the Family Dollar store at 5901 N. Wayside Drive.

Surveillance video shows a man smashing the front glass of the store, then hammering, smashing and kicking the burglar bars.

Typically, electronics are stolen, but on one occasion the crook stole several 12-packs of Coca-Cola.

Hopkins has made the news before, after police said that in another heist, he came up with an ill-conceived plan to conceal his identity.

As part of the most recent investigation, Shelton said he visited Hopkins' mother's home.

"When she saw the video and recognized her son, she actually fainted," Shelton said.