Smash-and-grab robbers hit cell phone store

Swift burglars used a vehicle to smash their way into a cell phone store in southwest Houston.
April 29, 2013 11:06:49 AM PDT
Crooks used a vehicle to break into a southwest side business, and then took everything they could. Police say this is the latest in a rash of this type of break-in across Houston.

This time, the target was a cell phone store on Fondren and South Meadow.

This was not the way store manager Syed Hasan wanted to start the week. After a burglar alarm went off, he arrived to find the cell phone store where he's worked for five years with a gaping hole in the front, after a smash-and-grab robbery that was caught on surveillance video.

"Why do you have to do that? I mean, this is totally ridiculous," Hasan said.

Police say at 3:30am three men were caught on video using a stolen black Ford pickup truck to smash their way into the store. They made off with cell phones and other merchandise. Hasan estimates the value at $10,000 to $15,000.

"They took expensive phones, like T-Mobile, expensive phones -- like $300 to $500 brand-new phones," said Hasan. "Our latest models, like iPhone 5, Galaxy series -- that is all the phones they took."

It is the seventh smash-and-grab robbery in Houston in just over a week. Houston police are seeing store after store being rammed by thieves behind the wheel, and that has neighboring business owners concerned.

"It's time for me to move away from here and move to a different area myself," said barber shop owner Billy Collins.

The cell phone store owner is estimating about $40,000 worth in damage to the business.

The stolen vehicle used to slam into the store was discovered by police nearby.
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