A Texas dad made a tough decision when his teenage son bragged about a “burglary spree” that included breaking into hundreds of cars, even stealing a police officer’s weapon from a parked vehicle — he called 911.
Theodis Daniel told KVUE on Tuesday he never imagined when his 18-year-old son Cristian, who lives in Austin, said he had something to tell him over FaceTime, it would be to brag about alleged criminal activities.
“I said, ‘You broke into a policeman’s car?’ I said, nah, nah, I’ve had it with you,” said the shocked father, who lives in Houston. He said his son claimed he also burglarized roughly 250 cars, targeting vehicles parked alongside running paths and in parking lots.
According to police, Theodis said his son told him he broke into a Houston police officer’s vehicle and stole a black bag that contained law enforcement-related equipment. Allegedly, the teen showed his dad the items – a Glock 43, ammunition, a reflective vest, and flashlight, and a Houston Police Department (HPD) ticket book.
“He was like, making a joke, bragging about it. ‘Yeah, I broke into 250 cars last week’ and I was like, ‘How in the hell did you do that?!’ ‘Oh, I just went after one after another one after another one,” continued Theodis.
“I said, ‘Man you’ve got to stop what you’re doing. This is getting out of control,” said the troubled dad, who also said, “You gonna stop? And he wouldn’t answer me. So I stopped it for him.”
Theodis, however, may have been more disappointed than surprised by his son’s behavior. On April 16, he phoned Austin police and reported his son, saying the teenager was on a “burglary spree” and had a stash of guns, according to KEYE. He also told officers that Cristian was on probation for having shot at someone and the teen “came out of jail running” committing crimes since his January release. He feared the teen would hurt someone or get hurt in the process.
The next day, officers arrested Cristian at this South Austin residence, also conducting a search. They found several ammunition magazines and the Houston police officer’s black bag and equipment.
Austin police say the Houston officer was on vacation in Austin in early March when his firearm and other property were stolen from his vehicle, according to KHOU. An HPD spokesman said officers may leave items including their department-issued firearms, in their personal vehicles as long as they are reasonably secured. HPD since launched an internal investigation to determine if the officer’s equipment was stored properly in the vehicle at the time of the robbery.
Meanwhile, Austin police say Cristian has been a suspect in several burglaries this year as well as credit card abuse, according to police.
“I love him but he’s got to wake up from wherever he’s at right now,” said Theodis. “If he would have stayed out here doing what he was doing, he was going to die. He’s not in California anymore. He’s in Texas and Texans do not play with people stealing.”
Cristian Daniel remains behind bars on $40,000 bond, charged with theft of a firearm, out of county felony, and unlawful carrying of a weapon, according to Travis County Jail records, which also show police filed an application to revoke probation. His father has not helped his son post bond. He has not spoken to Cristian yet.
“I’d rather him be upset with me than me burying him because he was on a path to self destruction,” said Theodis, who feels he made the right decisions in turning his son over to police.
“I needed him to think about what direction he wanted to take in his life. He can stay where he’s at or does he want to come out and be a productive, law abiding citizen right now.”
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