Serial robber suspect arrested

October 19, 2009 2:48:14 PM PDT
A suspected serial robber has been arrested in South Houston, but what makes this case different from other convenience store robberies is why the man allegedly did it and how.South Houston police say the suspect, who they've identified as Byron Brown, 38, would pick his targets at random, never hitting the same convenience store twice. Investigators say Brown reportedly committed these crimes in order to help his family.

Police say it was surveillance video from inside a South Houston convenience store that helped them identify the robber. In the video, he casually walks up to the counter and asks the clerk a question. He then pulls out a gun and demands money. The clerk begins to empty the cash register.

In all, investigators say the robber hit three convenience stores in South Houston, at least six in Houston and one in Pearland. Last Wednesday, Crime Stoppers released his picture in hopes of generating some leads.

"Thursday, Crime Stoppers got a tip on the case. An anonymous caller called in," said Amy Smith with Crime Stoppers. "We sent that information over to the South Houston Police Department."

Police would later identify Byron Brown as the suspect through the surveillance video. He was arrested on Friday.

South Houston Police Chief Herbert Gilbert explained, "He said he was committing the robberies to help his mother and also help his two young girls."

Police say Brown, who lived with his mother, would borrow her car to commit the robberies, including the one at the Stop n'Save on Allen Genoa last month.

Ever Garza, who works next door, said, "He said the guy had gone in, pretty much roughed him up and stole an undisclosed amount of money."

Brown initially denied any involvement, but investigators say he later admitted to the three cases in South Houston once they showed him surveillance video. In each case, they say the robber threatened to kill the clerk if they refused to hand over the money.

Brown is charged with two counts of robbery -- one in Houston and one in the city of South Houston.

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