HOUSTON – A couple of teenagers were caught red-handed, literally, after burglarizing and trashing the home of a World War II hero, police say.
Elbert Wood, 93, was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded twice during battles in Europe and Guam.
The war hero’s heart sank when he returned from a doctor’s appointment Monday to discover his northeast Houston home had been broken into.
The thieves spray-painted graffiti all over the home, furniture, electronics – even Wood’s grandfather clock.
They also stole jewelry, cell phones, bullets and old coins.
Police quickly responded and it didn’t take them long to find the suspects.
They spotted two boys, ages 13 and 16, walking down Antoine carrying items that came from Wood’s home.
One of them had red paint on his hands. The other had spray paint can lids in his pocket.
Police say they confessed to the crimes.
One of them started crying when Wood’s son and daughter-in-law showed up at the scene. The younger boy claimed it wasn’t his idea.
We can’t release the suspects’ names because they are juveniles.
Wood told his daughter-in-law that he would have punched them himself if he had caught them in the act.
Wood lives alone in the house. His wife died last year.