The nationally publicized case of the burglary of Theresa Roemer's three-story closet took another "stranger than fiction" twist Friday when the alleged thief sent several items to the Houston Press that he said he had stolen, alleging they are fake.
Roemer hotly disputes the allegation. "He's already violated me and robbed me," she tells CultureMap. "We know the truth — because the burglary went viral, he can't sell the stuff. And now he wants to hold me for ransom."
"We know the truth — because the burglary went viral, he can't sell the stuff. And now he wants to hold me for ransom."
The Woodlands entrepreneur/socialite had estimated that the burglar had taken between $800,000 and $1 million worth of handbags, jewelry and watches from her home during the burglary earlier this month, including a locket containing a strand of hair from her 19-year-old son, who was killed in a car crash eight years ago, and other family mementos.
Using a device to scramble the sound of his voice, the alleged thief told the Press that he had contacted Roemer, asking for $500,000 to return the items and "not expose her to the news." When Roemer instead contacted Montgomery County authorities, the alleged burglar sent several items to the publication that he said were fakes, along with the locket.
In an interview with CultureMap, Roemer confirmed the locket appeared to hers, along with other items. But, she notes, he didn't send the publication any of the high-priced stuff pilfered from her closet.
Roemer says when the alleged thief called her on Aug. 6, five days after the burglary, she thought it was prank. To test his veracity, she told him to send a photograph of an $80,000 diamond ring, which contains a personal inscription, along with the front page of the day's newspaper, which he did. "It freaked me out," she said.
She says she never pretended that everything in her closet was high-priced, although she has proof of sale from Neiman Marcus and other retailers for most items. "It's like any person's closet. You mix and match. In my closet, I have a Donna Karan dress next to one from the Gap. My stylist had some vintage jewelry there from back in the '60s. Not everything is a million-dollar design," Roemer says.
While Montgomery County authorities are continuing the investigation, Roemer says she is trying to get on with her life. She is debuting a new clothing line at Fashion Woodlands on Sept. 25, a New York-style runway show also featuring designs by David Peck, Chloe Dao, Jonathan Blake and Amir Taghi. Her clothing line will also be shown at several events in October.
"I just wish this would go away," Roemer says. "Why are they so vindictive? To be so vindictive is just evil."