The Houston Police Department has been collecting evidence on the robberies, and now a surveillance photo and video is available. Investigators hope the public will help them identify the suspects.
"We've had three black males who have demonstrated a propensity for violence," HPD Detective Ken Nealy said. "They've committed 20-plus robberies in the city, all of them using handguns."
At Ralston's Liquor Store on Antoine Drive, Nikita Bell came face to face with the robbers on December 19.
"They came in and put guns to our head. They were in the store not two minutes just ran in and out," Bell said. "They just said, 'Give us all the money,' and they got the money and they left."
Bell and her coworkers aren't alone. Surveillance video from the nearby EJ Beauty Supply store shows two young men, wearing masks. They tried to enter, but the owners locked the doors, so they left.
Besides EJ Beauty Supply, the robbers also hit Beauty Empire when Luis Camil was working.
"They say, 'Where's the money?' And it was, like, shock and scary," Camil said. "We just opened the register and they took the money."
The robbers also hit several Subways, a Timmy Chan and an O'Reilly's Auto Parts store, which is where a surveillance photo was captured.
The suspects are described only as a black males in their teens or early 20s. The one easiest to see in the photo released by police is wearing a red hooded sweatshirt. Police said that suspect is anywhere from 5 feet 7 inches tall to 6 feet tall.
Investigators say the men would work in groups of two or three, escaping either on foot or in a dark car.
Workers up and down Antoine are nervous.
'We heard about all the stores up and down here being hit by the same three guys," Bell said. "We knew it could happen, but we didn't think we'd be a target."
The suspects are accused in robberies at the following locations:
- 7303 Breen -- Boost Mobile on Nov. 23
- 6100 W. Tidwell -- Metro Mart on Dec. 6
- 6923 Antoine -- EJ Beauty Supply on Dec. 6
- 5426 Antoine -- Timmy Chan on Dec. 8
- 6002 Antoine -- Beauty Empire on Dec. 10
- 6505 Antoine -- Shrimp Island on Dec. 10
- 8011 Antoine -- Church's Chicken on Dec. 10
- 6436 Antoine -- Taco Bell on Dec. 15
- 1420 Gulf Bank -- Dollar General on Dec. 15
- 200 Aldine Bender -- Subway on Dec. 15
- 5744 W. Little York -- Subway on Dec. 18
- 6405 Antoine -- Shrimp Island on Dec. 18
- 5558 Antoine -- Ralston Liquor on Dec. 19
- 7702 W. Montgomery -- Chick and Chung on Dec. 19
- 6060 Oak Bay
- 611 W. Little York -- Kentucky Fried Chicken on Dec. 21
- 6923 Antoine -- EJ Beauty Supply on Dec. 21
- 933 Pinemont -- Strip Center /Business Park
- 5323 Antoine -- Subway on Dec. 22
- 7502 N. Shepherd -- Jack in the Box on Dec. 22
- 6301 North Freeway -- McDonald's on Dec. 22
- 100 East Crosstimbers -- McDonald's on Dec. 22
- 2655 Tidwell -- O'Reilly Auto Parts on Dec. 23
- 703 Little York -- Dairy Queen on Dec. 23
- 2218 Little York -- Jack in the Box on Dec. 23
- 5760 Little York -- Sun Shop Beauty Supply on Dec. 26
- 7028 Antoine -- Metro PCS on Dec. 26
- 7728 Lockwood -- Dollar General on Dec. 29
Anyone with information on the crimes or the identity of any of the suspects is urged to contact the HPD Robbery Division at 713-308-0700 or Crime Stoppers.
Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for any information called in to the 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org that leads to the filing of felony charges or arrest of the suspect(s) in this case. Tips can also be sent by text message. Text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.
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