“Parka Bandits” Target Auto Parts Stores

They come to the auto parts store, but not to buy a part. Houston police say a pair of armed robbers has hit a dozen auto parts stores in north Houston since late December. The HPD needs your help in catching the robbers before someone gets hurt. Pat Hernandez has more.

Police say the crime spree began on December 30th at the Auto Zone on Gessner, when two armed men wearing hooded parkas entered the store.

“These suspects are holding guns to these people’s heads and terrorizing them.”
That’s Houston Police Robbery Investigator Colleen Nelson.

“Both of them are about 5-10 to six foot, and what’s distinctive about it is, the jackets that they’re wearing. The one that goes in by himself, is wearing this beige parka-looking jacket and has fur around the hood. The one that wears the beige jacket is a little heavier in weight, and is probably in his 30 to 35 age range.”

She says when they enter a business, the two get the employees and customers together, find out who can open the safe and then order everyone to lay on the floor.  Most of the hold-ups have taken place at night, before the store closes. But the most recent robbery happened in the afternoon last week. Investigator Nelson says that store is located near a school.

“These guys are armed. If something had happened, that school’s so close by, the kids could have been coming out, or the suspects could have run into the school so in fact, they are getting more dangerous. So, I’m asking for anybody that can give us information, to provide information on these guys. This needs to stop. Now they’re moving into areas where there’s school, and children that could be hurt, if in fact things go bad.”

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