25-year-old suspected in string of armed robberies of women in Katy

A break in the case in Katy armed robbery spree.

KATY, Texas – Investigators believe they've caught a serial armed robber who has been targeting distracted women for weeks in the Katy area.

Ruben Vela, 25, reportedly used a gun in each incident to rob his victim.

His girlfriend, 17-year-old Kimberly Martinez, is facing aggravated robbery and credit card abuse charges as well.

According to authorities, Martinez was waiting in her boyfriend's car last Friday outside Katy Mills Mall when he put a gun to Holly Bryan's face.

Bryan had just put her 2-year-old son in his car seat around 11 a.m.

"When I see him coming really fast, I see his hands coming at me, and I swat his armed away and realize it's a gun," said Holly Bryan, in an interview with KHOU 11 News on Monday.

Harris County Sherriff's Office detectives are also connecting Vela to five other armed robberies. That includes one that happened at the Walmart at Fry Road and I-10 on Thursday around 9 a.m.

"He clicked the gun and pointed it at me like that and said, I'm going to take your purse," said Bina Vora. "The scariest thing I have ever felt in my life."

Bina Vora was putting groceries in her trunk when the gunman crept up from behind.

"I just froze basically when he pointed the gun at me," said Vora.

Vora says the gunman got away with approximately $250 in cash. She also says her debit card was used about 15 minutes after the robbery.

Sources tell KHOU 11 News that Vela became even more bold this week.

He reportedly ambushed a woman in her driveway while she was in her car with her baby.

Investigators also say he broke into a home of a woman in her 70's while she was there. Vela reportedly dropped his keys with a car dealership service tag at that scene, and that's what led to the arrests.

"It just makes me angry. How can he do this and scare people like that," added Vora. "It should be a message to any other criminals who want to go around and rob people. They will get caught eventually."

Both suspects are currently facing charges in both Harris and Fort Bend Counties. Sources expect the suspects could be facing additional charges in the weeks ahead.


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