KATY, Texas - A family is hoping their dash camera video will help capture a man who broke into their vehicles while they were at dinner at a Chuy’s Restaurant on I-10.
April Okerholm, her husband Erik and their kids were on their way to Florida for a family vacation on Aug. 7. En route from Austin, the family had to pass through the Houston area as part of their trip and stopped to get dinner at Chuy's around 8 p.m.
While the family was inside eating, a thief had his eyes on their property.
“It was a huge violation to our family. They didn’t just break into one of our cars. When we were eating, they broke into both of them and we were on our way to Florida to celebrate my daughter about to graduate from college,” April Okerholm said. “We were just going to duck in real quick, have a quick bite to eat, get back on the road, maybe stay the night in Alabama and we came out and saw the glass was shattered in my car."
The family has dash cameras in the front and back of their SUV’s because they have decals with their family business, Legacy Ranch at Rocky Creek in Fredericksburg.
April Okerholm said the cameras have a motion sensor. One of those cameras captured the moment a man driving a white Cadillac pulled up in front of her car.
He’s seen looking through other cars with a flashlight. He then makes his way to April's SUV and breaks the side window.
The cameras captured the sound of the glass breaking and the car alarm going off.
“I saw the glass was shattered," April said. "I did everything you’re supposed to do -- I parked in the front, under the light. I screamed like crazy. My husband comes running over and said they got his gun. Then I realized I didn’t have my gun. They stole my husband’s computer, backpack with his work laptop in it. They stole my daughter’s backpack with her Macbook in it, a game system -- you know, we were packed for vacation.
April said she and her family did their best to hide their items and normally wouldn’t leave their property in the car, but this situation was different.
“You know, we were packed for vacation. You’re not supposed to leave stuff in your car," she said. "Six of us taking 12 bags into Chuy’s -- you just don’t do that, and they know that.”
“You can see his face. You can see his everything, and I think it’s awesome that Harris County got his fingerprints off of my freshly new detailed car,” Okerholm said.
She described the man in the video as black, about 5 feet, 9 inches to 5 feet, 11 inches tall with wording on his shirt. He was in a white Cadillac SRX with no plates.
“We’re very, very happy with the footage that we got. Somebody’s going to recognize him,” April said. “We work hard for our stuff. This is not a job. What he did is not a job. He’s hurting families. He’s hurting people. He needs to be held responsible for his crimes.”
The family said based off of the video, it appears the thief acted alone.
The family's belongings
Along with laptops, iPads and bags, the suspect got away with two firearms.
“It’s devastating. I feel like we’re always going to have this dark cloud over us and it scares me to death to know that one day Harris County or Houston police or some police department -- now that our serial numbers are on those guns have been reported stolen -- that we’re going to have a phone call to say they’ve recovered our guns, and I’m going to wonder if they were used in a violent crime, and hopefully no one was hurt as a result of our guns being stolen. That would just devastate me.”
April said their laptops are low jacked and personalized and can be traced. She said they would really like their items back.
The family said through all of this there is a silver lining. April said a good Samaritan found her daughter’s backpack near Clinton Drive, about 25 miles from where it was stolen. The person reached out to them and her daughter was able to get her license, car keys and some other items back. She said, however, that her laptop and credit cards were missing.
Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct 5 was the responding agency. Officials with the office said on there was another car break-in at Chuy’s on Sunday.
Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 713-222-8477.
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