Police: Armed suspect robs bank inside Pearland grocery store

The suspect in Monday's robbery of a First Convenience Bank in a Pearland Food Town (left) and the suspect in the February 29 robbery of an Associated Credit Union of Texas (ACU Texas) Credit Union.

March 5, 2012 4:12:04 PM PST
Pearland police are searching for a man who robbed a bank inside a grocery store on Monday morning and now they say the man is suspected in another bank robbery from last week.

At around 9:30am Monday, inside the lobby of the Pearland Food Town at the counter of the First Convenience Bank 7121 West Broadway, trouble came calling. These are the security pictures of the robbery that took place. A man in his 40's, average height and stocky, handed the bank teller a manila envelope, told her to fill it up with cash and pulled up his shirt to show the gun stuck in the waist of his pants.

The teller gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect then fled the bank. No one was hurt in the incident.

There was no vehicle description available or a direction in which he fled.

A few doors down is Sydney and Leon's BBQ, a family business and a growing favorite in Pearland. When the owners opened Monday morning, they saw the commotion outside the grocery store.

"You have to be pretty bold to nowadays walk into a bank or grocery store and rob it. I know times are tight, but it can't be that tight," said Buster Sydney, with Sydney and Leon's BBQ.

His wife walked in the store not long after the robber left and the police arrived.

"We'll be more careful now because it's just down the street," Gloria Sydney said.

Compounding concern, Monday's robbery is believed to be the second one in the area in less than a week for the same suspect. An Associated Credit Union of Texas was held up last Wednesday. In that robbery, the suspect wore a hat. On Monday, he had a bald head.

Pearland is now on the bank robbery radar and people from Pearland don't appreciate it.

"Instead of him getting a job, he wants to go take something from somebody? He can take something from me if he wants to and see how he likes that," said Pearland resident Ken Cray.

The suspect is described as a black male in his 40's, about 5 foot 8, and wearing a blue jean jacket and dark-colored pants. Witnesses said he had a dark-colored mark under his left eye and he spoke with an accent, possibly from Africa.

Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the charging and arrest of this robber, or any felony suspect. If you have information about this crime, please call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 713-222-TIPS (8477), the Houston office of the FBI at 713-693-5000, or the Pearland Police Department at 281-997-4100.