HPD: Police impersonators using fake raids to rob illegal game rooms


by Jeff McShan / KHOU 11 News


Posted on December 7, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 7 at 11:21 AM

HOUSTON -- Surveillance cameras inside an illegal game room on Monday captured amazing video of what appeared to be a Houston Police Department raid.

The video clearly shows five men wearing badges and raid jackets calmly walking into the business in the 100 block of E. Edgebrook. All of them were carrying weapons. One had an assault rifle.

But there was a problem. The men with badges were not police officers. They are suspects now wanted for aggravated robbery.

“These guys are organized. It looks like they’re trained. Each of them have a role to play. One of them takes the security guard, one of them takes the door. The other two escort the customers out of the business. You know it’s something similar to a raid HPD would do,” said an HPD undercover officer.

HPD’s Major Offenders Division says in the last week this particular crew has hit three illegal game rooms, taking more than $20,000 dollars.

Witnesses told police the suspects arrived in what they believed was an undercover police vehicle. It wasn’t.

The first game room robbery took place in the 3600 block of Tidwell on December 1.

Two more were robbed Monday. Before the Edgebrook robbery, the suspects hit a game room near I-10 East at Wayside.

HPD’s Major Offenders Division is hoping one of our viewers can help them solve this case.

Some of the suspects in the video are not wearing masks.

“We’re trying to get those guys identified. And the other thing is, in the three cases they’ve used a black four-door Chevrolet Impala between 1995 and 2000,” said the undercover investigator.

Witnesses said the car is equipped with some sort of siren and police light.

Investigators say the suspects could be Zetas, members of a drug cartel that are showing up more and more in Houston.

If you have any information on these suspects, HPD urges you to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. You might be eligible for an award.