LAFAYETTE, La. — A Texas man arrested in connection with multiple Acadiana burglaries also is wanted in other Louisiana parishes.
Justin Joseph Andrews, 42, of Katy, Texas, is being held in Texas until he can be extradited to Louisiana for booking in Lafayette, St. Martin and East Baton Rouge parishes, police say.
KATC Investigates has learned he has a long history of being accused of robbing “country club” type neighborhoods.
In Acadiana, he’s accused of hitting several homes in Le Triomphe subdivision, a gated neighborhood that straddles the Lafayette-St. Martin parish line.
In Lafayette Parish, sheriff’s deputies accuse him of three counts simple burglary in connection with incidents in the neighborhood that happened between December 30 and January 15. More than $100,000 in jewelry, guns, safes and even a golf cart were reported stolen.
The investigation remains ongoing, and the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office says additional charges are expected. We've reached out to St. Martin Parish for an update on their investigation, but haven't heard back.
In East Baton Rouge, he’s accused of multiple burglaries between May and December, in expensive neighborhoods like the Country Club of Louisiana and Santa Maria. The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office accuses him in at least 15 burglaries that netted more than $300,000 worth of jewelry, cash and firearms.
This isn’t the first time Andrews has been accused of burglarizing expensive houses and stealing high-ticket items. In Texas, he’s been accused of multiple similar burglaries in the Houston area - but was never convicted of any them, records show.
In March 2013, Police told the Dallas Morning News that Andrews was accused of burglarizing homes of several prominent residents, including former Dallas Cowboy football player Herschel Walker, a state senator and a pro golfer. At that time police said they found more than 1,700 stolen items, including jewelry and collections, at Andrews’ home. They said they were accusing Andrews of at least 20 Texas burglaries, and one in Las Vegas.
Harris County records show Andrews was accused of multiple burglaries there in the spring of 2013, all with similar MOs.
In January 2013, he was accused of breaking into six houses on the same night; all of them in a gated golf community and all backing up onto the golf course.
In May 2013, Andrews was accused of breaking into several homes in the Memorial Village neighborhood of Houston. Real estate records show that several homes are for sale in that area; the least expensive one has a $1.5 million asking price.
In that case, police were called to a home after a resident heard a window breaking the night of Valentine’s Day, and then heard from several neighbors, also reporting break-ins that night. Court records indicate the burglar was caught on surveillance video, wearing a mask, tan clothes, rubber boots and a leg holster with a big can of pepper spray.
That night the homes were robbed of jewelry, guns, expensive purses and designer luggage, court records say. Another police agency developed Andrews as a suspect in similar cases, and executed a search warrant on his home that turned up jewelry and luggage allegedly stolen from the Memorial Village homes, the records show.
The records say that three different agencies tied Andrews to burglaries in their jurisdictions using the GPS on his cellular phone.
A similar case was outlined for burglaries that happened around February 15, 2013. The records indicate several homes were burglarized in an expensive gated community; the burglar got in by breaking windows in bedrooms or bathrooms, and stole expensive jewelry and purses. The documents say the burglar would get into the backyard, then break a window in the master bedroom, lock the door to the bedroom and go through the bedroom and its closets, and force open safes if there were any. The burglar would sometimes steal guns, and was smart enough to avoid setting off alarms by opening doors or entering other rooms of the houses, the documents indicate. Video captured the same fellow, wearing the leg holster and a mask. The break in that case came when the detective saw a story on a Houston TV station about Andrews being arrested in Katy for the same kind of burglaries, the documents state.
The detective called that police agency, and got access to GPS records of Andrews’ cell phone, which put him in the area of the burglaries. He also got access to records from a gold and silver company that bought more than $500,000 worth of metals from Andrews, and photos of the jewelry police recovered from his home during the search. One of the victims identified a gold necklace that had his wife’s name in hieroglyhpics that had been stolen from his home.
In another case, accusing Andrews of January 2013 burglaries, one victim identified his dead father’s company service pin, and another identified a topaz ring given to her by her grandmother.
All of the charges in these Harris County cases were dismissed; in all, seven cases involving numerous burglaries in expensive Houston neighborhoods were dismissed. All dismissal records indicate “insufficient evidence” in the case. A handwritten note on each dismissal states “cannot prove BRD,” which means beyond reasonable doubt.
We reached out to the main police agency in the cases, as well as the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to find more information about this dismissal, but a spokesman told us the case happened in another administration and he couldn't provide any details. We've also reached out to the police agencies that investigated the cases and will update this story as soon as we hear back.
Records in Fort Bend County, which is located southwest of Houston, indicate Andrews also was indicted there, accused of residential burglaries that happened in February 2013. Those charges also were dismissed, and also in 2014.
The only conviction showing for Andrews in Harris County is a theft charge in 1995, for which he served 180 days of probation. He successfully completed that probation and it was terminated.
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