Neighbor Helps Police Catch Accused Serial Burglar

By: Stephanie Ando Email
By: Stephanie Ando Email

COLLEGE STATION Police say an accused serial burglar is in custody thanks to a woman who saw the suspect breaking into her neighbor's house.

The burglary happened Saturday at a house near the intersection of Guernsey St. and Welsh Ave. in the College Park neighborhood.

Whittley Ziehr shares the house with two Texas A&M sophomores.

"I don't know, a sense of security is kind of taken away," said Ziehr.

Ziehr's neighbor, Linda Harvell, recently graduated from the College Station Citizen's Police Academy. She says she witnessed the burglary.

"He rode up and down the street several times, went up Welsh and parked his bike behind some trees. Then he came around the back of the house. That's when I called 911," said Harvell.

When officers arrived at the house, they say they looked through the fence and saw someone had broken in through the back door. A few minutes later, the suspect reportedly came back out with some stolen property.

"We had an officer in the front and an officer in the back. As soon as he walked out, he had nowhere to go," said College Station Assistant Chief Brandy Norris.

Devonte Shepard, 20, was arrested and brought back to the police department. That's when he allegedly confessed to burglarizing at least eight other homes in the neighborhood in the last two months.

"He admitted that he's had some help in the past. So we're in the process of figuring out exactly how much help and who that help was," said Assistant Chief Norris.

Norris says investigators are on the right track thanks to the neighbor who saw something suspicious and called it in.

"That's just the way I am. And shame on anyone else who doesn't watch out for their neighbors. Whether they know them or not, it's still our neighborhood," said Harvell.

Harvell says she's satisfied knowing that at least one criminal is off the street.

Shepard has been accused of breaking into a home before. He has been charged with burglary twice and convicted once.

Shepard is being held at the Brazos County Jail on a $30,000 bond.

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