A Texas couple, Tom and Peggy McElvoy, sat watching a television late Monday night in their Mansfield home, using special headphones so they could hear better.
And as they watched television, a brazen burglar broke the glass of a patio door about 20 feet from where the elderly couple was sitting.
As they continued to watch their program, unaware of what was going on behind them, the burglar went to the McElvoys’ bedroom and rooted through a 3-foot-high jewelry chest.
The burglar took several necklaces, rings, watches and an assortment of other jewelry. He also snatched the first ring that the 79-year-old Tom McElvoy gave his 79-year-old wife.
In a closet, the burglar also took money and credit cards he found.
Then he slipped away unnoticed. The McElvoys didn’t realize they had been burglarized until they went to their bedroom and found the door locked.
“I picked it open and that’s when we saw that someone had been there,” he said.
They estimate the burglar made off with more than $20,000 worth of jewelry and cash.
No one had been arrested as of Thursday.
It’s not common for burglars to break into a home while homeowners are inside, said Mansfield Police Officer Sonia Brannen on Thursday.
“Mostly, burglars will wait until homeowners are away from a home,” Brannen said.
Tom McElvoy said they have an alarm security system, but it wasn’t turned on Monday night. The couple said they had no reason to feel threatened since they had not had any problems at their home in the 32 years they had lived there, just off the Walnut Creek Country Club golf course in Mansfield.
“We don’t feel threatened when we’re at home,” Tom McElvoy said Thursday. “So we don’t turn it on until we go to bed.”
McElvoy said that the burglar broke in sometime between 9 and 11:30 p.m. Monday. The drapes at the patio were open and a light was on, McElvoy noted. “He had to have seen us,” he said.
But the couple couldn’t hear the burglar because of the headphones they were wearing as they watched TV. “We have the headphones on because it makes the voices clearer,” McElvoy said.
He believes the burglar may have been someone who had been in the house before the break-in.
“It happened so fast that I think they knew where to look,” McElvoy said.