Kids caught on camera stealing may have targeted other businesses

A group of teenage thieves are targeting Houston area businesses and they were caught on camera
Monday, August 04, 2014
We have an update on a group of young thieves we first told you about on Saturday. Another local business claims the same kids targeted it not once -- but twice.

The Eclipse Tanning Salon owner decided to put in surveillance cameras after a theft at the salon. Video captured a young boy walk into the Eclipse Tanning Salon on Westheimer on Wednesday and it showed him looking around and then leaving. But employee Christian Zarate says the boy had been there before and the last time he was there with part a group of preteens and teens who robbed him.

"Three boys walked in, between the ages of 11 and 14, asking to use the bathroom," Zarate said.

Zarate says the business has no public restrooms and that he was closing up for the night. Then three older boys walked in and started walking around ignoring his request that they leave. Until two nearby valet attendants came to help.

"They knew something was not right whenever six guys are walking into a tanning salon," said Zarate.

They threatened to call to police and the group left and then Christian walked into a back room.

"When I went to the room to get my backpack, that's when I noticed all of my stuff was laid out. Everything in my back pack was thrown out on the floor and I was missing my iPad, my phone, my wallet, my textbooks, pretty much everything that might have been of value, was taken from me," Zarate said.

It's a similar MO to what happened at nail salon on Westheimer this week. The security video shows three boys walk in followed by two more and they asked the employee for some water and when she turned around to put an envelope in the safe, one grabbed her cell phone and they all took off.

Twenty minutes later the employee, Jasmine, noticed her phone was gone.

"I thought I left it in the safe. I thought I left it in the back," said salon theft victim, Jasmine. "I looked around. I went crazy. I even picked up the phone. It just wasn't there."

Zarate says he's seen the younger boys at other businesses soliciting money. He believes the same ones on the nail salon video are the ones who stole from him and says they're brazen and they know what they're doing.

If you think you recognize the suspects, you're asked to call the Houston Police Department.
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