3 teens accused of robbing Boost Mobile store in SW Houston

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Three teenagers walked into a Boost Mobile store in southwest Houston Wednesday night and forever changed the lives of the employees working inside.

"They were just kids," said Annel, who asked that her last name not be used. "They started talking to me about getting off their mom's cellphone plan. And then, one pulled a gun from his hoodie."

Surveillance video captured the encounter. Annel backed away, and the teenager lifted the gun from his side toward her, while an accomplice emptied the cash drawer. In the back room, another employee, Karin, was depositing the cash in the store safe when the robbers pushed their way in.

"He had a gun jammed against my stomach," she said, with tears in her eyes. "He kept yelling give me the money. I thought he was going to shoot me."

In the end, the three robbers got the cash that they were after. Often in cellphone store robberies, it's the merchandise that's targeted. These left without taking a single phone.

"I believe they're from the area," said Ray Ali, who's the vice-president of sales for the franchise.

The store is on the busy corner of Richmond and Fondren. It was the first time it was robbed, but Ali fears that the suspects will continue the robberies.

"Getting cash like this can be addictive," he said. "And I'm concerned that someone will get hurt. There are owners who've shot robbers."

Ali said he is receiving messages from other store owners who believe they were robbed by the same group. He's forwarding that information to police. He's also upgrading security at the door, including a system that will remotely open the door. The store already has a high-quality surveillance system.

The employees remain on edge two days later.

"I see those kids' faces all the time. Every time I walk into the store, and when I got to sleep at night. I ask God to give me the courage and the strength to go to work every day now," Annel said.

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