Brazen robbers target Zales jewelry store in NW Harris Co.

HOUSTON

It happened around at the Houston Premium Outlet shopping center along Highway 290 and Mason Road. Deputies say a group of masked men ambushed, tied up and robbed two workers from Zales jewelry store. They say one thing that makes the robbery so bizarre is that those brazen thieves never showed any weapons.

Lt. Wayne Schultz with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office said, "The information we got from them, there were three African American males. They had bandanas on their faces. There was a getaway driver also outside the establishment waiting in the parking lot."

That robbery happened as the employees were inside the Zales preparing to stock display cases before opening. Yet investigators say those workers don't quite know how the crooks got in.

"We checked the roofs, there was no access to the roof. I don't know if the door just wasn't locked," Lt. Schultz said. "But the employees swear they locked the doors. So I don't know how they got in there."

Deputies say they do know the thieves used zip ties to restrain the victims before stealing cash and jewelry from a safe.

,p> As deputies secured the scene, shoppers began arriving to the mall, learning a manhunt was on for the robbers and the white cargo van they used to get away. After a short search, deputies and DPS troopers found the suspect's van ditched behind a nearby H-E-B grocery store.

"We're working on leads from that right now," Lt. Schultz said.

Deputies tell me the victims are OK. Investigators are currently processing the van and reviewing surveillance video from the area for leads. They're asking anyone with information on the robbers to call Crime Stoppers.

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