2 break into Houston museum, lead police on boat chase and escape through storm drain

HOUSTON – Houston police are investigating a break-in and getaway that sounds like something out of a movie.

Police are searching for two introducers who broke into an art museum and used a motorboat to escape. The incident occurred at the Bayou Bend Museum on Memorial Drive around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday night.

Authorities said a man and a woman led police on a chase in the Buffalo Bayou and got away in a River Oaks sewer system. They broke into the museum through a gate to a basement window, police said.

“I think that’s really crazy it’s kind of scary too like just breaking in and stuff that just scares me a lot,” neighbor Marleigh Gardner said.

The museum’s alarm system went off and the security guards chased the pair through the woods. Police said they had a motorboat waiting on them at the Buffalo Bayou.

Another neighbor Angela McElroy couldn’t believe it.

“Insane. I mean I don’t know it’s just everybody is nuts out of all the places like let’s just go rob the bank,” McElroy said.

The suspects took off down the bayou. Police tried to block them in at the Shepard Bridge and Loop bridge, but officers on foot lost sight of them.

“I’ve seen alligators in this creek and snakes and stuff that’s risking it right there,” resident Matthew McElroy said.

Police called in the chopper and dive team to help with the search.

“As they were going past a culvert they shined a spotlight in there and saw the boat with two people in them,” Lt. Larry Crowson said.

Police say the man and woman jumped out and ran into a drainage culvert that runs under River Oaks.

“Man, that’s crazy because I figured there would be some kind of security out here. There is a lot of collective stuff in there,” McElroy said.

Police went into the tunnel but lost radio command and the intruders.

“That’s crazy like I would have no idea except for the helicopter but that’s insane. I never would have thought that would happen like here,” neighbor Lucy Bennett said.

Police are trying to figure out who the boat belongs to. They did not release many details about the description of the suspects, but say that have tattoos on their arms.

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, which runs the Bayou Bend Museum, said no one was harmed and no works of art were damaged.

“Nothing appears to been removed from the premises,” the museum wrote.

Here is the full statement released by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston:

Last night, at approximately 6:45 p.m. two intruders, a man and a woman, entered Bayou Bend through a grate to a basement window on the north terrace of the house museum. Our burglar alarm sounded, our security guard responded, and the intruders escaped through the front door on the south façade. Our security guard chased them through the woods. The intruders had a motorboat waiting on the bayou. The Houston Police found the boat after they escaped through a culvert.

No one was harmed and no works of art were damaged. Nothing appears to have been removed from the premises. We have examined camera footage, we are in contact with the police, and we are performing a physical inventory this morning.