Authorities searching for masked home invasion suspects in Travis County

Surveillance video of one of the home invasion suspects on Bonneville Bend in southeast Travis County on June 2, 2017.
Surveillance video of one of the home invasion suspects on Bonneville Bend in southeast Travis County on June 2, 2017.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — People living in a southeast Travis County neighborhood are concerned after one neighbor posted on Nextdoor stating three masked suspects entered his home on Bonneville Bend and held him at gunpoint last weekend.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office confirms there was a call for a home invasion at the home around 3 a.m. on Friday, June 2. and the case is currently active. TCSO could not confirm if anything was taken in the robbery or if anyone was injured.

KXAN spoke with the homeowner, Thomas Sinsel, who explained that he had invited a woman into his home at around 2:50 a.m. Minutes later, Sinsel said three individuals — two of them armed — entered his home. Sinsel said the men held a gun to his head and ordered commands at him. When he tried to operate his home security system, he said one of the men hit him in the head with a gun.

Sinsel said he heard the men telling each other to shoot him, but none of them did. He made a break for his bedroom and locked himself inside while the intruders tried to push in his door. Eventually, the suspects left, but when he came out of his room, the woman, as well as the suspects, were gone. The entire incident lasted 11 minutes.

Puppy that was stolen from the Sinsel household. (Courtesy: Sinsel Family)
Puppy that was stolen from the Sinsel household. (Courtesy: Sinsel Family)

His home was left unscathed, the only thing the suspects took was a puppy that belonged to his daughter and six bags of Cheetos. The puppy has distinct markings and Sinsel hopes that someone may be able to identify the puppy by its coat. Sinsel’s phone, wallet, and other possessions weren’t touched. He said he is not sure what the intruders were after.

Surveillance video from Sinsel’s home shows one man approaching the door with a handgun in his right gloved hand. The suspect appears to have a mask on and looks directly at the camera at one point. As he opens the door, two other men — one of whom was armed — also come in behind him. Sinsel said that it appears his front door wasn’t locked when the suspects came in.

He hopes his neighbors do not feel worried for their safety because of this armed robbery.

“I think it’s an isolated incident targeting me more likely and I don’t think there’s too much of a threat here, seeing what they did and how they did it,” he said.

A neighbor who contacted KXAN on the condition of anonymity said her home’s surveillance footage showed a car driving back and forth in front of Sinsel’s home at 2:47 a.m. Then Sinsel opens his door and waits on the front porch to greet a woman and lets her in. Then at 2:53 a.m. the car travels back and forth in front of Sinsel’s home again and at 2:56 a.m. three men approach and appear on the front porch, entering the home. Thirty-five seconds later the three men rush out followed by the woman who is moving slower.

Both this neighbor and authorities say they presented their surveillance video to detectives.

Another one of Sinsel’s neighbors contacted KXAN Tuesday, saying he was concerned that many of his neighbors didn’t know the full story about the robbery.

“People that live in Addison, we love our neighborhood, it’s a close knit neighborhood, so these type of events are disheartening and worrisome,” said the neighbor who asked to remain anonymous. “We would appreciate [Sinsel] being fully honest and transparent as to what his activities were leading to this outcome.”

They are seeking tips and additional information about this case, anyone with knowledge of what happened is asked to contact the TCSO tip line at 512-854-1444.

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