Fake roofers use ploy to rob store

February 25, 2010 9:11:17 PM PST
Some suspects are saying they are roofers, but they're not and they used their ploy to rob customers in a local business earlier this month. West University police have been able to track down video of the suspects and their truck used in the scam. Other business owners in West U. say they are not surprised by the ploy.

Earlier this month on February 10, it was business as usual at My Fit Foods on Kirby in West University, until a white Dodge pickup truck with a ladder in back pulled up, and two Hispanic males walked inside claiming to be roofing contractors.

"Indeed there was a leaky roof inside the business at the time. They removed a few ceiling tiles, put it inside a garbage can, took the garbage can outside and never returned," said Sgt. Darrell Blaylock of the West University Place Police Department.

Employees soon noticed their purses were missing with their credit cards inside. Once police were called, an investigation determined at least one credit card was used at a Pasadena convenience store later that day.

Fortunately, surveillance cameras were rolling as the white Dodge with a noticeable dent on the right side pulled into the convenience store. One suspect, wearing a white shirt and ball cap, is seen inside apparently paying for about $60 of gas with the stolen credit card.

Sounds like a lot for a small pickup, but he was also filling up his buddy's black Chevrolet at the adjacent pump. You can see the friend give a hug as a thank you for the free gas on a stolen credit card.

"I've been kind of scared to work by myself," said employee April Brown at a nearby Smoothie King.

We checked with other businesses near My Fit Foods and they say crime is not exactly rare on this strip of Kirby that's now under construction.

"They busted through the window and they came in and tried to get the safe, but we have it pretty locked up," said Brown.

And another says she'll now be checking with her boss about any work that is scheduled at her store.

"I can believe it. I don't think you're safe anywhere," said Tiffany Harvey who works at a nearby Relax The Back store.

There were three suspects in all, two Hispanic males that walked inside and one waiting in the truck. The Dodge pickup has a dent on the rear right panel and if you have any information you're asked to call 713-668-0330. Police say the suspects have probably pulled this stunt before.