Detectives suspect same man may be responsible for Zales robberies

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by Shern-min Chow / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on January 10, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 10 at 10:31 PM

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A Zales jewelry store in northwest Harris has been robbed twice in two months and detectives believe the same suspect was behind both heists.

The Advanced Dental Office is right next door to the Zales Outlet store, located at the Champions Village Shopping Center in the 5200 block of FM 1960, and dental workers had a front row seat to the robbery the morning of Jan. 4.

“What’s frightening is it happened in broad daylight, a really busy time of day,” Office Manager Mike Tran said.

Security cameras captured it all showing the gunman shoving the clerk and putting the stolen jewelry in his bag. Back on Nov. 16, dental worker Amanda Guerra remembers the “same scenario.”

“They pull a gun and they take several thousand dollars worth of jewelry,” Guerra said.

Detectives believe the same suspect and an accomplice hit the store in November. They think the second skinny suspect seen in surveillance video is actually a man posing as a woman.

No weapons were fired and no one was hurt in either case. Shoppers said other places along 1960 have been hit too.

Outside the Zales, some shoppers carried their cell phones, armed with all the right apps, which serve as a weapon of sorts.

“When I go grocery shopping with my mom, the mall or to work I always got my phone just like this,” Jessica Chavez said holding up here cell phone. “I have everything to ‘snap shot’ it or anything or make an emergency call, you never know.”

As for that dental office next door?

“We got broken into twice about six months apart.” Tran said. “It looked liked people were actually scouting from outside in, ‘cause we looked through our video feeds and saw people looking in.”

Investigators believe that’s what happened with the jewelry store. They suspect that the two men on surveillance video are the suspects casing the Zales prior to the November heist.

Another shopper, Lisa Fortenberry, summed things up by saying, “I think it’s terrible. Crime is out of control.”

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