Big Houston armored car heist

August 7, 2008 6:25:38 AM PDT
Crooks got away with possibly six figures in an armored car heist. It happened on JFK Boulevard and Aldine Mail Route in northeast Houston. Harris County investigators call the robber bold for confronting guards with guns.

The owner would not talk to us on camera but he did show us surveillance video of the robbery and while authorities are not telling us how much was stolen, the owner says he was expecting $100,000.

It was a lunchtime heist that for now made someone much richer and Loomis, the armored courier company, out a lot of cash.

"It's a risky business", said Mark Clark, Loomis Senior Vice President of Strategic Growth and Communications.

According to surveillance video viewed by Eyewitness News, the armed robber was waiting for the armored truck. When it arrived, one female guard checked the surroundings. The other got out with two bags of cash and was met with a gun. The crook then took hers.

"While the suspect disarmed the female guard, the guard was not hurt," said Sgt. Noel Araguz with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "Nobody in this establishment was injured in this ordeal."

The robber took off and within minutes detectives were at the scene.

It is a rare one we've learned. According to Loomis, last year there were approximately 75 armored car robberies nationwide. In Houston the average, says an FBI spokeswoman, is one to two a year. The last big heist in Houston was in 2004 when almost $4 million was stolen from Triple D Security. That turned out to be an inside job.

Strict policies and procedures are in place for guards to follow. There were three at Wednesday's robbery. One must always stay in the truck. Loomis' Mark Clark would not discuss the specifics of what happened, although he says all guards are armed and their priority is to avoid an incident.

"We don't want gunfire on the streets. We don't want to put people at risk so it is a last resort, but if it comes to the last resort, they are well trained," said Clark.

Neither of the two guards who remained armed fired their guns. Investigators say all the guards are cooperating and they believe the robbery is legitimate. The robber got away in a green Pontiac sedan, possibly a Grand Am or Grand Prix. Call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS if you have any information about the crime.

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