Thief steals under office workers' noses

August 20, 2008 10:12:21 AM PDT
A man caught on tape is accused of four burglaries in downtown office buildings in the past month. He's still on the loose, as employees feel uneasy. At Medical Place One on St. Joseph Parkway we know of four thefts. Within two hours, one victim tells me the thief was in La Marque cleaning out all her accounts. He steals with ease and doesn't let a locked door deter him.

On days when they don't see patients, the door is now locked at a downtown doctor's office because employees are now scared. A quick but damaging visit by one guy changed everything.

This medical assistant who asked that we not identify her says last month as she was alone in the office, washing instruments, when she was victimized. She only realized it when she checked her purse.

"Got my purse out [and] you could tell there was an empty spot, my wallet wasn't there it was gone," she told us.

The thief had slipped in and out in a matter of seconds. Surveillance video she gave us shows him checking to see if it's clear, walking in and then casually walking out. He definitely wasn't courteous, because the door to the back office was locked. She says he must have used the reception window as his way in.

A floor below in the same building, it is all too familiar to Tonya French.

"I went and looked in my purse and I noticed my wallet was stolen, not the purse just the wallet," she said.

French believes she came face to face with the same guy who had gotten in the same way.

"He had to have come through the check in window [and] the door was locked," French said.

And without her knowing, had already found what he was looking for.

"My purse was in this chair and it was pushed all the way in this corner," she said.

According to Houston police, there have been four thefts inside Medical Place One in just a month's time. The women think the man on the video is behind all four because they say they are all similar. He's created a credit mess and now has the women always questioning their safety.

Building management has warned tenants about the thefts. HPD is investigating. The women believe if he's struck here, he's probably struck some other office building. So lock your doors and hold onto your wallets. If you recognize the man accused of these thefts, you're asked to make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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