Back in September of 2009, the Houston Police Department noticed a significant rise in the number of break-ins in a couple of Montrose neighborhoods.
Sgt. Richard Wilson says his officers started a door-to-door awareness campaign to make sure residents knew about the crimes and could help be on the lookout for suspects.
“We did our walking campaign out there in East Montrose also and we talked to about 150 people. We went to over 700 residences. The ones we didn’t talk to we left fliers there. That neighborhood was really responsive and really upset, so they were being active. And we were telling them to be good witnesses for us, because the only way we were going to catch him is if they saw him or they gave us the right clues.”
Sure enough, a resident was on a ladder working on his house and saw a man break a window at another house and poke his head inside. He followed the runaway suspect in his car and helped lead police to his location. Just five days before that, an officer arrested a different suspect immediately after residents reported a burglary.
Wilson says one of the men, Leonard Campbell, is believed responsible for more than 100 burglaries in the area.
“This suspect tended to go in through a window and then come back out any way he could. And then while he was inside, he liked to eat and drink out of their refrigerators. And there was numerous cases where he did that.”
The other suspect, Bobby Henry, may be responsible for at least 50 burglaries. Campbell has six previous convictions and Henry has four. There’s no indication the two men were working together.
Because of their previous records, both men may be eligible for life in prison.