WOODWAY, TX — A sad day for a Woodway family turned tragic after thieves broke into their father's home while they were laying him to rest.
"It's unbelievable. It's like being in a horror movie. It's not real," said Tina Patterson, the daughter of J.D. Newsom.
88-year-old Newsom passed away on December 29, 2020.
"It was just multiple organ failures, one after another, and that's what took him down," said Tina.
On Tuesday, the family laid the patriarch to rest.
"Next thing I know, I'm sitting there at the reception and I get a call from him [son Terry Newsom] hysterically yelling, "Tina come home now. Some one has burglarized daddy's home,"" Tina recalled.
The thieves forced their way through the back door and ransacking the father's house.
"It was just trashed. Drawers broken, stuff dumped everywhere in that room. All the stuff that was so precious to my daddy, things that we haven't even see for 30 years because he wouldn't let us touch it," said Tina.
Among the items taken were Newsom's car, bags, even a computer filled with priceless memories,
"Because we were collecting pictures to send the funeral home, every document I've typed for 20 years and every picture I've taken for 20 years was on those disk drives," said Tina.
Authorities say this sort of theft is common. Thieves often times take advantage of events like funerals or weddings where they know families will be gone long periods of time.
"He's lived in this house since 1966 with zero crime in this area. Anybody that has ever had somebody break into their house... it's not just the break-in. It's the violation of privacy," said son Terry Newsom.
So what can you do? In any public announcement or social media post, avoid publishing specific details and time. That gives lurking thieves an invitation for trouble.
Next, ask police to keep an eye out, or have a neighbor house-sit while your away,
Of course, always have a security system set up.
"They [the thieves] can show some humanity by at least bringing back the things that don't mean nothing to them, but mean a world to us," said Tina.
Woodway Police is investigating.
The missing car is a 2001 silver Cadillac Deville with handicap license plate number 4KPKN.
If you have any information, you're asked to contact authorities.