ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Gomaa family was dealt their first misfortune last Tuesday when the family minivan caught fire while parked inside the garage.
The flames spread engulfing the vehicle and parts of the garage before they were put out by firefighters.
The family home is in the Viridian neighborhood in North Arlington.
The fire forced the family to stay at a hotel for a few nights and when they got back home they found their house was broken into while they were away.
Amr Gomma said, “This garage was slightly opened. So I figured something happened.”
The Gomma’s were burglarized while still dealing with the damage left behind from the fire.
Gomma added, “On top of everything someone broke into my house and got my stuff. My wife was really crying.”
Arlington Police say a tip led them to online postings that were selling the Gomma’s stolen possessions.
Investigators set up a sting operation posing as potential buyers and arrested Odessey Messer, and Luis Gonzalez when the pair showed up to sell the stolen goods.
Police say they recovered most of the Gomma’s stolen property.
They also say the arrest of Messer and Gonzalez led them to a motel room in Euless where they found countless other stolen items including tagged luggage that appeared to have been taken from an airport and other victims.
Arlington Police spokesman, Lt. Chris Cook said they will now try and reunite the property with its rightful owners.
Lt. Cook added, ‘We’re going to methodically go through the bag tags, try to reach out to other area law enforcement jurisdictions to see if they have some thefts reported.”
He also said during an interview with the suspects Messer admitted to targeting the Gomma’s home because she knew it would be empty after learning about the fire that displaced them in a recent news report.
Messer is now charged with felony burglary of habitation, and Gonzalez is charged with possession of stolen property.