HPD needs help in catching serial robber

Houston Police Detectives are on the hunt for a man believed responsible for at least a dozen robberies at check-cashing businesses and insurance offices the past two years. Authorities say the suspect likes to hit businesses where young women are working. Pat Hernandez has more.

Police say the robberies go back to December 2010, and the latest one occurred on April 6. He's even robbed some business twice:

"We have one male, and he told me that he had been robbed by the same guy in the county several months earlier. And then we had a case on West Greens Road, where he hit the same location twice."

Houston Police Robbery Sgt Gary Urie is the lead investigator in the case. He says the suspect has been operating primarily in North Harris County, targeting a business every month and a half:

"He's targeting the check-cashing stores and insurance stores. They're usually manned by a clerk, like a bank, and they'll have cash, ready cash on hand, and he enters pretending to be a customer, usually asks for a quote, or inquires about a loan. The victims typically, are young girls acting as clerks, they're trained to be compliant, and then they are compliant, he's intimidating."

Urie says he strikes with such speed that it catches employees off guard. Luckily, no one's been hurt:

"Earlier cases, he was brandishing like a kitchen knife. And then he'd jump the counter, brandish the knife, make a threat, demand money, curse you know, very intimidating to young ladies. And, he would make them go to the back. So we've never seen a vehicle, a witness see a vehicle. He could have an accomplice that's driving and picking him up. We just don't know anything about a car or accomplice."

He's described as a black male, 35-45 years of age, 5-7 to 5-10, 160lbs with a slender build. He usually wears a button-up long sleeve shirt, slacks or Dickies pants, white tennis shoes and a baseball cap. Here are some surveillance photos, if you recognize the suspect, you're urged to call HPD Robbery or Crime Stoppers.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF News.

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Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...