HOUSTON (KTRK) --A jewelry store was robbed early Saturday morning and its heavily-armed owner said the thief was lucky to get away alive.
It happened at Pineforest Jewelry on the 1100 block of Uvalde in east Houston. Jim Mills, the owner, was staying at the business but did not hear the intruder.
"If I had caught him inside my business, I would have blown that man away," he said.
The masked man had what appears to be a tattoo on his lower back and on one of his ankles. Mills hopes tipsters will be able to identify him from those.
"All you young folks out there, make sure you tattoo them up real good so we can catch you," Mills said.
The thief slipped in between burglar bars after breaking a window. He also broke jewelry cases and stole a bag to store the loot.
The thief got away with nearly $400,000 worth of jewelry and a Thompson M1A1 semiautomatic, according to the owner.
The man found keys and left in an SUV he stole from the parking lot. Security footage shows him return the vehicle a short time later before walking away.
"This is not my first rodeo. This sucker was lucky," Mills said.
He said in 1979 he shot and killed two of three intruders who targeted a different business he owned and he would have no problem doing that again.
"There's no doubt in my mind. I would have blown him away and his mama would have been crying," he said.
Anyone with information on a suspect in the robbery is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.