Parka Bandits wanted for auto parts store robberies

February 17, 2010 10:11:13 AM PST
Houston police have released surveillance pictures of a pair of thieves wanted for at least a dozen robberies on the north side. All of the robberies occurred at auto parts stores. Houston police are dubbing the men the "Parka Bandits." Investigators are looking for two men wanted in at least 12 robberies of auto parts stores in the north/northeast quadrant of the city. The last robbery happened outside city limits on Aldine Mail Road in broad daylight

We have surveillance video from two of the robberies. In the first, both men robbed an Auto Zone on North Shepherd and in the other one of the men, dressed in a beige fur trimmed parka, robbed another Auto Zone on Antoine on January 5.

Police say the robber in the beige parka, who they think is a little older than the other one, sometimes commits these robberies alone. When they're together, he seems to be the leader. In any case, police say the robbers have semi-automatic handguns and they're dangerous.

"The suspects in some of the cases have actually forced the complainants to lock the business door so no more customers will come in," said Colleen Nelson with the HPD Robbery Division "But when you're in a business with someone that has a gun, anything can happen."

Investigators do not have a firm vehicle description at this point, perhaps a silver Impala or Sebring. They say they robbers have gotten away with thousands in total from their robberies and they add that the Parka Bandits seem to be getting more comfortable with committing these armed robberies.

The robberies started on December 30. The last one was February 11. If you know anything about the Parka Bandits, you're asked to call the Houston Police robbery division or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIIPS.