Around 2:30 a.m., two men robbed a fireworks stand on the corner of Barbara Mae and Alderson Street after a busy Fourth of July sales night. It didn't take long for deputies to figure out, this wasn't the only place the men hit.
Overnight, detectives say the same two guys with guns robbed five convenience stores plus that fireworks stand in the Cloverleaf and Channelview areas.
Their last known stop was the Valero on Woodforest Boulevard east of Beltway 8 around 5:30 a.m. Thursday. ABC13 obtained exclusive surveillance video of the robbery that captured a clear shot of the men's faces.
One of the robbers was wearing a black sweatshirt, white baseball hat and a dark backpack. The second man was wearing a white sweatshirt, the hood pulled up over his black hat, with a black bandana covering his face.
The video shows the man in the black sweatshirt jump the cashier's counter. Workers say he ordered the frightened clerk on the ground, pointed a gun at her and emptied the register. The whole thing was over in about 90 seconds.
About three hours before robbing the Valero, blurry surveillance video shows the men breaking into the side of the fireworks stand.
A 17-year-old clerk was inside. He ran to get help.
"They had masks on and guns," said Mike Hudec, who owns the stand. "They think there's a whole bunch of money in there, and there's not."
Hudec had just collected the cash from the holiday sales. The robbers got away with Hudec's wife's pistol and some change.
This just happened to be the second time Hudec's stand was robbed in the last 24 hours.
In the early hours of July 4, Hudec says two guys cut the chain that locks the stand.
The 17-year-old clerk was asleep inside, guarding the thousands of dollars of fireworks.
The clerk shot one of the robbers. He survived. Deputies say the two robbers were arrested. Investigators do not think they were connected to the six robberies that happened on July 5.
"I've always told him, if you're in fear of your life, don't do anything stupid. Give up the money if you have to. Don't put your life in jeopardy," Hudec said.
If you have any information about the men seen in the video, call Crime Stoppers at 713-521-4600.