HOUSTON – One west Houston mother is now dealing with the aftermath of brazen burglary. The mother and her three children missed the encounter by just minutes. However, the family's surveillance video captured a screenshot of one of the thieves.
"A violation of our privacy. It was disorienting to me as an adult," Hifa Sobhani said.
After an extra-long day with the grandparents, Sobhani bucked in her kids and had quite a ride back to their home Wednesday. Yet, when Sobhani pulled in, she noticed something was not right.
"The garage door was wide open, and I thought I did not leave that open," Sobhani said.
Calling 911, as a precaution, Sobhani and her children approached their home.
"I walked in through the back door, which was still locked," Sobhani said. "Drawers had been opened..cabinets had been opened."
But before her children could see anything, she took them back to the car.
"Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that the french doors were cracked open, and I grabbed my daughter's hand, and I said let's get back in the car," Sobhani said.
She said they waited in the car until the police came.
"This man...walking up our driveway...brazen as day and stared into the security camera before he smashed a window and helped himself to our belongings," Sobhani said.
The thieves took tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and cash. However, Sobhani said many blessings came after.
Sobhani and her family own Atlas Auto Glass, so the repairs were free of charge. Even the chaotic ride home ended up being a blessing in disguise.
"For some reason, we missed getting on the Beltway to get home...and then took another wrong turn," Sobhani said.
Before the haunting discovery of finding her home broken into, Sobhani made two wrong turns that delayed her return by 20 minutes. To her surprise, the timestamp of the video gave her chills.
"If I would have arrived even 15 minutes earlier, we would have encountered the burglars," Sobhani said.
Now the family is learning a lesson in perspective.
"We're all safe, and we have each other," Sobhani said. "Just the thought that I could have encountered them if I did not take those two wrong turns? It makes me so grateful."
Of course, they want the thieves to get caught and to learn too.
"So [they] can be held accountable," Sobhani said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Houston Police Department at 713-884-3131.