An Ellis County homeowner has posted a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for recent burglaries.

Virgil Ellzey said he’s putting up the cash reward after his house was burglarized while he and his family were away.

His is one of three homes in the Shawnee and Bells Chapel area near Red Oak that has been burglarized recently, he said.

“I just hope and pray they get them,” he said. “You have never had your rights so violated until you walk into your home and it’s been ransacked. … It looked like a bomb went off inside.”

The burglars kicked in the back door and took guns, televisions and other items while dumping every drawer and dragging the mattresses off of the beds, he said.

The offense occurred Dec. 1, sometime between the hours of 1:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., when a neighbor saw the house had been burglarized.

“We were out of town and he notified us,” Ellzey said, saying sheriff’s investigators were called out to work the crime scene.

Ellzey said he’s offering the reward in hopes someone saw something or knows something.

“I am determined to follow this through,” he said. “They just cleaned us out.”

Ellzey, 70, retired from law enforcement after 33 years. His son and daughter-in-law are 31- and 30-year law enforcement veterans while his daughter has 19 years in law enforcement.

“It can happen to anybody,” he said. “We’re all vulnerable. You feel safe and secure until something like this happens.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office criminal investigation division at 972-825-4901.