HOUSTON (KTRK) --Sheriff Ron Hickman delivered a strong and stern message to the citizens of Harris County this morning. Hickman told abc13 his department and other local agencies will not tolerate the string of local robberies including at drug stores and meat markets.
"We realize they see these incidents end up on the nightly news," said Hickman. "They don't always hear when law enforcement resolves these issues. Here you have a series of numerous events. A dozen at Walgreens, more for the meat markets .. that have been popping up on the nightly news. We want the public to know how diligently we've been working to resolve these issues and bring these offenders to justice so dangerous people aren't committing these crimes."
Hickman announced the arrest of 33-year-old Ryan Noel Banks. Banks was arrested for 12 robberies at six different Walgreens stores. Investigators explained Banks would approach the store clerk, deliver a threatening note, and make his demands. Detectives said he always wanted cash and cigarettes.
Hickman always weighed in on the string of armed robberies at meat markets. The sheriff revealed an organized crime ring is responsible. He said at least eigh known gang members are now in custody. His department declined to release their names and told Eyewitness News the investigation is ongoing. Hickman said he expects more arrests in the coming days.
Hickman said the gang members are responsible for at 33 different meat market and their criminal operations span all the way from Pasadena to San Antonio.
Reporter Steve Campion will have a full report on abc13 at 11:30am.