Armed robbers steal restaurant customers purses

Monday, May 8, 2017
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Armed robbers steal purses from customers at northwest Houston restaurant.

Diners enjoying a Saturday meal at The Union Kitchen on Ella Boulevard were interrupted by armed robbers.

One robber held a gun to an elderly woman's head, according to witnesses.

Mike Brown was eating dessert with his grandmother Evelyn Brown, 92, when he noticed something was wrong.

"I see a hand with a blue latex glove slowly reaching and picking up my grandma's purse," Brown said. "As I looked back down, that's when I saw the pistol pointed at her head."

Brown said his grandmother did not notice the gun.

"She was just confused. Looking at me like, 'what?'" he said.

Two masked robbers moved almost silently through the restaurant calmly collecting purses, according to witnesses.

Brown was able to dial 911 with his phone still on the table.

"They were busy behind me and I just slowly picked it up and said, 'Hey, we're being robbed right now,'" Brown said.

Within moments the robbers were gone, taking arms full of purses with them. Brown said it didn't take officers long to crack the case thanks to one of the victim's phone in her purse allowing police to track the thieves.

"Five or six officers showed up. They tracked the phone just right over here to a neighborhood," said Brown.

Brown said within an hour the purses with all the contents were returned and suspects were found. He said police and staff were amazing in such a tense situation.

"After an event like that, when the waiter comes back and shows concern for your 92-year-old grandma, you know it's a special restaurant," Brown said.

The restaurant released a statement saying:

"We are grateful to the Houston Police Department and our dedicated staff for keeping our loyal guests safe. Gr8 Plate Hospitality and The Union Kitchen are committed to keeping all guests and staff safe and we are proud to be a part of the Garden Oaks and Oak Forest communities."

Brown enjoys taking his grandmother to dinner when he's in town. Though this time, she got more excitement than expected.

"My grandmother leaned over to one of the other women and said, 'You know, I knew we should've gone to Luby's tonight,'" Brown said.

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