Police: Thief steals cancer patient's luggage

BELLAIRE, Texas - A surveillance camera was rolling while a person stole luggage that belonged to a cancer victim in the hospital, according to authorities.

It happened on Feb. 18 in the 4900 block of Palmetto Street in Belllaire.

According to police, a woman was unloading some luggage into her parked vehicle and walked inside when the thief drove up.

"The suspect happened to be driving around in the area," said Det. Doug Clawson. "They saw an opportunity where nobody was around. The vehicle was unattended and the trunk was open.  Both suitcases were accessible and were stolen."

Surveillance footage from a neighbor's house shows a blue PT Cruiser with wood grain panels driving up to the house.

Doug Christians, a neighbor, said he witnessed the crime through the window of his upstairs home office across the street.

"I noticed that they had jumped out and they were gonna steal some luggage out of the back of a Mercedes," Christians said. "It was one of those situations where the (woman) had gone in to get some more luggage and (was) just gone for a few minutes."

Christians said that he ran down and tried chasing the suspects but they were already gone.

Police said the luggage actually belonged to a woman from Kerrville who was at MD Anderson getting cancer treatment. Her relative was loading her suitcases for the trip home.

"Which makes the whole situation a lot sadder," Christians said. "The thieves stole luggage from a person that wasn't even there. She was here in town for treatment."

Clawson said this case serves a great reminder to always be cautious. Neighbors said they are taking heed.

"Anyone's vulnerable if you just leave your trunk open to put groceries in it or whatever it is you're trying to do, you're potentially a target," Christians said. "People don't realize how fast someone can strike and get your stuff if you're not paying attention."

Anyone with information on the theft is urged to contact the Bellaire Police Department.

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