SHENANDOAH, Texas – Authorities are searching for four men in connection with an armed robbery at a cell phone store Sunday in Montgomery County.
According to the Shenandoah Police Department, officers responded at 5:45 p.m. to a robbery at an AT&T store in the 19000 block of Interstate 45 in the Portofino Shopping Center.
Witnesses told police that four armed men ran into the store and ambushed the employees and several customers. The suspects were screaming and waving handguns at everyone in the store.
One of the suspects forced several of the employees and the customers into a break room at gunpoint, while the other three suspects used their guns to force the manager to open the safe where cellular phone products were stored.
“Had someone not complied with what they wanted them to do, within the store, they might have been harmed,” SPD Assist. Police Chief Bryan Carlisle said.
After stealing an undetermined number of cell phones, all of the suspects ran from the location, police said.
A Good Samaritan happened to be in the parking lot and saw the suspects run flee the scene in a white van, police said. The Samaritan decided to follow the van with the suspects, but lost sight of the vehicle as it escaped onto David Memorial Drive heading north, police said.
The Samaritan then found the van behind the Park at Woodmoor Apartments in the 8700 block of Shenandoah Drive. However, the suspects were already gone.
A second witness said they saw the suspects getting into a black Dodge truck with a tool box and flee the location, striking a parked vehicle in the process, police said.
The van was determined to have been stolen from Wharton last month, police said.
Carlisle said detectives are still trying to figure out just how much was stolen.
“We know a great deal of these phones go overseas. We know they are sold online, on Craigslist and eBay,” he said.
David Lyles manages a place just a few doors down from the AT&T store and said he is surprised by what happened.
“The police are always in this parking lot and the police station is right across the street,” Lyles said.
Donna Miller, a business owner herself, said she feels for the victims.
“We have surveillance systems, but if people come in with masks, guns blazing, I instructed my employees to just give them what they want,” Miller said.
Based upon witness statements and video surveillance, the suspects appeared to all be black males wearing jackets and hooded sweatshirts with bandanas over their mouths. One suspect was wearing a black baseball cap with the Cincinnati Reds logo on the front.
The Shenandoah police are requesting the public’s assistance in catching these suspects and urge people with information to call 281-367-8952.