Shoppers we talked to say they thought a mall restroom was a safe place until that attack happened this week. Police are hoping the community can help identify that bold and violent thief.
Sugar Land police believe a man caught on surveillance camera, dressed in a black polo and pants, is the thief who followed a man into the restroom near Designer Perfumes at First Colony Mall before attacking him.
"Scary to think that you could go to the mall to go shopping and somebody follows you into the restroom," said shopper Kathy Edwards.
The crime has some frequent mall visitors concerned. Investigators say the suspect attacked the 47-year-old victim from behind at a urinal just before 9pm Monday. Sugar Land Police spokesperson Doug Adolph told us the suspect beat the victim unconscious and stole his cell phone.
"It was a pretty severe beating. He suffered lacerations and swelling to the head," said Adolph.
A mall employee later found the injured man and alerted police. Investigators say mall surveillance video shows the suspected thief getting away in a two-tone sedan.
"A cell phone was stolen, but there were other personal belongings that were not taken. We think that the man was spooked during the attack for some reason, we don't know why, and left quickly," Adolph said.
Police describe the suspect as African-American, around 6 foot 1, late 20s to early 30s. Some concerned patrons say now they'll be extra cautious before using a public restroom.
"I do that all the time. Guess I'm going to have to keep an eye out too," Edwards said.
First Colony Mall Management on Thursday issued the following statement which read in part:
"The safety and security of everyone who enters our mall is our top priority every day. Our thoughts and prayers are with the gentleman who was injured. Our focus continues to be on the well-being of our shoppers and retailers and we are working closely with the Sugar Land Police Department so they can apprehend this subject as soon as possible. This was a random incident and we have no further details at this time."
Police are asking anyone with information about the man in the video to call Sugar Land police at 281-275-2540 or Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers at 281-342-TIPS .