Surveillance cameras catch SUV plowing into home and leaving scene

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on January 1, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 2 at 8:51 PM

TARRANT COUNTY -- First, you see the lights approaching. Then, the impact makes you cringe.

Again. And again. And again.

Four cameras aimed in four directions clearly captured a hit-and-run, with Rick and Mary Whitbeck's house falling victim to a speeding SUV.

They live on Wells Burnett Road in Tarrant County. It's between Fort Worth and Azle. They were out of town Monday morning when a white SUV, which looks possibly like a newer-model Jeep, plowed into their home.

The camera's clock says it happened at 12 seconds past 3:32 a.m. By 16 seconds past 3:32, the SUV was in reverse and backing out of the big mess.

"And the dust flies, and it immediately reverses and backs out," Rick said.

"Less than a minute," Mary said.

"It sped off down the road," her husband finished.

The Whitbecks have eight security cameras at their home, installed because they'd been burglarized. Four cameras are in the front yard.

One caught the SUV speeding down Hangar Cutoff Road, which dead-ends into their front yard. The vehicle blew through a stop sign and straight through the intersection with Wells Burnett Road, never even braking.

"This could've been someone that just fell asleep that late at night, and it could've been purely an accident," Rick said. "However, it's good to be accountable to one's self for those kind of things."

They're asking for the public to be on the lookout for a white SUV with front-end damage. Anyone with a tip on who might be responsible should contact the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department at 817.884.1315.

The Whitbecks have covered up the hole and shored up the roof, but they face thousands of dollars in repair to a home they totally renovated themselves. The home has been in Rick's family since the late 1960s.

"We gutted this house to the bare frame," he said.

Their cameras were still rolling after the crash, and they believe the SUV came back seven minutes later.

"We're 99-percent sure that car and a vehicle following them drove back by, slowly looking," Mary said. "Evidently, they wanted to see the damage and see if anyone was here."

The Whitbecks are glad the cameras caught the crash on video. Now they hope that leads to the driver being caught, too.

"Just do the right thing," she said. "Do the right thing."

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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