Robbers disarm officer during North Loop store holdup: HPD

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A female officer working security at a Verizon cell phone store in the North Loop near Garden Oaks was disarmed when two robbery suspects walked in, Houston police said.

According to HPD, two suspects wearing masks stormed into the store on Yale around 3:45 Monday afternoon. A getaway driver remained in a car waiting outside.

There were at least a half dozen employees and an off-duty police officer working an extra job inside.

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One robber went straight for the officer and took her gun, Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner said. The two suspects held everyone at gunpoint and then stole cell phones and the officer's gun before fleeing the scene.

"She trained like she was supposed to. If somebody overtakes you that quickly, you remain calm and become a good witness," said Finner.

The officer called for help. Other officers responded quickly.

One suspect was caught after a short foot chase near the store. Another was caught after he crashed near Waco and Lyons during a car chase. A third suspect is at large. Police recovered the officer's gun and the stolen cell phones.

"Good conclusion. We got two suspects, and once you have two, it's pretty easy to get the last one," said Finner.

The officer has been with HPD for seven years and is currently assigned to the Vehicular Crimes Division.

A Verizon spokesperson sent this statement:

"Though we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation, the safety of our customers and employees is of utmost importance and we are fully cooperating with authorities."

The suspects face charges of aggravated robbery and disarming a public servant.

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