Masked gunmen hold up bank in NW Harris County

November 24, 2009 5:01:49 PM PST
The two suspects in a brazen bank robbery in northwest Harris County entered the bank in broad daylight and terrorized customers. But they did something the FBI says it hasn't seen in other local bank robberies. This hold up took place at the Wells Fargo Bank on Grant at Jones, off the Tomball Parkway. This wasn't your typical armed robbery. The FBI is calling it a classic 'take-over' robbery, with some very violent masked gunmen.

As scary as it was for employees to face down the barrels of two guns, for customers at this Wells Fargo bank, news of the robbery was almost as alarming.

"That could be any of us," said customer Monique Nicholls. "That's terrifying, to be honest with you."

The robbers barged into the branch just after 9am Tuesday. According to an employee who spoke to Eyewitness News off camera, the suspects were concealing their identities by wearing clown masks. The FBI says both of the men were waving semi-automatic handguns, pushing and roughing up employees as they demanded cash.

"Once they were inside, one of the subjects, also armed with a semi-automatic handgun, stayed in the lobby area of the bank, basically making sure that all the customers inside and the employees were hands up, not moving, complying with his demands," explained FBI Spokesperson Shauna Dunlap. "The other subject aggressively charged the counter, jumped the counter and basically put his weapon physically into the neck of the bank manager."

Authorities say the suspects got away in a green Plymouth Voyager, which was found abandoned a block away from the bank. It would turn out to be stolen.

Although the crime, at this point, has not been linked to any other robberies, the FBI is not ruling out the possibility that these men may have done this before.

Dunlap said, "Oftentimes these individuals do travel from city to city, sometimes even across state lines and commit these types of robberies. So that's something that we are taking a look at."

For Vicky Huynh, who runs an ice cream parlor next door to the bank, her concerns speak for a lot people near the bank.

"This neighborhood used to be very, very good," Huynh said. "But I heard about this and I'm shocked, very, very shocked."

A Wells Fargo spokesperson issued a statement: "We do not tolerate criminals, and we use the full force of our technology and planning to thwart and catch them."

If you have any information about the suspects in this robbery, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.


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