Houston Galleria crime: Woman accused of renting luxury cars used in violent robberies, murder

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston police have charged a Baytown woman in connection to several violent crimes that targeted people shopping and eating in the Galleria area.

Sarah Seay, 30, is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. She is accused of conspiring to commit aggravated robbery. During one robbery, one man was killed.

"These are egregious allegations in this warrant," a hearing officer told Seay, who is 7-months pregnant, in court Friday night.

Her bond was set at $50,000.

According to court documents, Seay used the Turo app to rent cars that two brothers - one of whom is the father of her children - used to rob people of hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewelry, cash and other items.

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Seay rented Cadillacs, an Audi and a Mercedes so that they would blend in when following victims home, according to investigators.

Court records tie those rentals to at least four armed robberies dating back to May 7 and one fatal shooting along Lester Street on May 27. Josh Sandoval, 28, was the victim.

"You're speaking to a family that is in shock," said Ashley Prince, Sandoval's cousin.

His family gathered by video conference Friday night to talk about the loss and also what police call "jugging crimes" that have disrupted so many people's lives.

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"He wasn't a stranger to no one. That was the type of person he was. He just enjoyed life," said his mother, Glinda Martin.

Houston police have been chipping away at the violent robbery crews with undercover operations and surveillance.

In Seay's case, the detective reviewed rental agreements and vehicle tracking to learn that the cars that were used were at both her apartment and the victims' locations, court records stated.

"This just a bigger part of what's going on in Houston," said Omar Sandoval, Josh's brother. "So many deaths in Houston. It is ridiculous. My brother is a statistic."

Investigators tell ABC13 they are focused on catching these violent robbers.

Seay is part of the puzzle and more people are expected to be charged.

"If these girls are helping these guys, they need to go to jail, just like they do," said Queena Simmons, a family friend.

Josh's family await a murder charge.

"I held his hand in the hospital and I told him we're going to find justice," his sister, Aimee Castillo said.

For the latest updates on this case, follow ABC13 reporter Jessica Willey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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