Neighbors concerned after rash of break-ins at east Houston businesses

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An east side neighborhood is on edge after a series of smash and grab robberies at local businesses.

In all the cases, the suspects were caught on camera. Store owners believe the men in the surveillance video may be connected to at least two cases.

In one video, it only takes 30 seconds for a pair of smash and grab robbers to place a chain around the steel bars of the McCarty Lavanderia at Kerr Street near McCarty, and pull them off the hinges.

Once inside, the two men and the driver of the truck ransack the office, looking for cash.

WATCH: Suspects break into laundromat's office

EMBED More News Videos

Three suspects ransacked the business's office. They took a small amount of money and a stack of lottery tickets.

"First, they get a sledge hammer, and they break the glass, and they get chains and they tie it and pull it off, and they actually have a grinder in their hand," said McCarty Lavanderia owner Julie Hernandez.

Hernandez says the incident at her business happened on Sunday.

The men caused thousands of dollars in damage to the laundromat, but only took a handful of cash and a stack of lottery tickets.

"How could they? Why?" Hernandez asked. "I mean the damage they caused, the headaches to try to get everything back."

Five days earlier and a half mile down McCarty street, a restaurant had a similar smash and grab caught on camera.

Two men rip open an outside wall, then a driver rams a pickup truck into the El Sol De Mexico Taqueria restaurant.

Anjelica Huerta's family owns the restaurant. She told Eyewitness News the suspects not only robbed her restaurant, but also the washateria and some people in the neighborhood.

Huerta believes the people who took cash from El Sol de Mexico Taqueria may be the same men who have committed other crimes in the area.

SURVEILLANCE VIDEO: Suspects ram truck into wall of east side restaurant

EMBED More News Videos

The same suspects may have rammed through the wall of an east side restaurant days earlier.

Video from both locations shows similar suspects, and now police have the surveillance footage.

"Just want everybody to be on the lookout and hopefully they can get caught and watch out for your surroundings," Hernandez said.

The store owners hope someone will recognize the suspects and call police.

EMBED More News Videos

Watch as 3 men use a stolen truck to rip the doors off an east side laundromat.

Follow Jeff Ehling on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.