Seniors living at apartment complex plagued by burglaries

By Leigh Frillici

HOUSTON - Cecelia Owensby was on her way to work when her Nest security camera alerted her that someone was inside her home.

She called Houston police and turned around, heading back to her apartment at the Villas in the Pines apartment complex for seniors.

Rolling back the video, she saw a man in a hoodie kicked her door in. After closing the door carefully behind him, she watched as he strolled through her apartment, piling stuff up at the door, presumably to take. No item seemed to be too small. Along with TVs, jewelry and perfume bottles, he also had gathered up toothpaste and a toothbrush.

"My microwave, all three of my TVs were stacked here at the door," Owensby said.

She walked through her home where drawers were pulled open and things were thrown on the floor.

"There was a TV sitting here, my jewelry, all of this was ransacked. This guy has just totally torn my house up," she said.

Owensby called police, who met her at her door. They got there just in time to see the burglar make a quick getaway. The officer chased after the suspect, but the man got away.

WATCH: Nest video of senior apartment complex burglary

"The guy jumped out the bedroom window," Owensby said.

This isn't the first time there's been problems at the Villas in the Pines apartment complex for seniors.

Houston police said there have been dozens of calls to that complex since January ranging from disturbances to theft. Last week, KPRC spoke with a neighbor in the complex who was carjacked. Police made an arrest in that case.

Ownsby said she doesn't feel safe.

“I’m not cleaning up, I’m packing up,” said Owensby. "There's no security, The gates wide open like they're saying welcome come in and take what you can get."

Patty Allen, the regional manager for the apartment complex, spoke with KPRC by phone saying they care about their residents and they are fixing the gate. Allen said they are investigating the incident and working with the Houston Police Department.

Owensby is grateful police got there fast. The burglar got away, but he had to leave a lot behind, including a closeup when he walked by the Nest camera and tried to shield his face from it.

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you're on the go.

Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.

Copyright 2017 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.