Would-be thieves use vehicle to break into gas station store in NW Houston


It happened at a Valero Corner store on 43rd Street and Rossyln around 3:20am. Authorities say a group of five men backed a pickup truck into the front of the store.

"They attempted to steal the ATM. They didn't get away with it today," said Detective Greg Shelton with the Houston Police Department.

Officers say the would-be thieves spent less than one minute inside and after being spooked by the alarm, rushed off. One suspect apparently slipped on a banana peel on the way out. But the suspects also left behind a huge mess for employees.

"They already have one job. Now they've got a lot more on their hands," said one customer.

Regular customers like Chris Ryan arrived only to have to search elsewhere for his morning brew.

"Well, first I want to know that everybody's OK, but then I'm bummed out because now I have to go to another store to get coffee," said Ryan.

The incident was all caught on video and the surveillance video is now in the hands of investigators. These cameras are new after several smash and grabs at this location.

"I know at least four or five times it's happened," said Ryan. "It's happened a lot."

There have been six more smash-and-grab incidents at convenience stores nearby.

"We've had a number of these incidents. That's why we're out here trying to figure out how this correlates with some of the other incidents that have occurred in the last week or two," said Detective Shelton.

"It is kind of pathetic. These are hard-working people and this is a business," said one customer with whom we spoke. "It's hard enough to run a business right now and there are people making it harder for everybody else."

Police say the suspects are all young guys and all had their faces covered. They also believe the truck they were in was stolen.

There were no employees inside at the time of the incident.

If you have any information, you're being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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