HOUSTON -- Neighbors in the Oak Forest-Garden Oaks area are joining together after a rash of driveway attacks. Houston poilce confirm that at least five attacks have happened in the past week.
Victims are being targeted after parking in their driveways at night.
Residents say the crimes have been so bold police have told them to avoid going out after dark.
In almost every case to happen this week, a gunman creeped up with a gun. In at least two of the cases, the criminal took off in a gray older model four-door sedan with tinted windows.
It was surreal, said Olga Mexina.
Olga Mexina had just got out of her car around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday near T.C. Jester and West 43rd Street. She says a criminal, wearing a multicolored mask, surprised her from behind and held a gun to her head.
He was saying let go of the bag, explained Mexina. I was just thinking whether or not the gun was real. I was just at the ATM and I had cash on me.
Mexina s instant reaction was to not give it. The two tussled over her purse before she finally let the robber have it.
I was thinking about my daughter who was in the house, she added.
Less than two hours before that and just about a mile away, another victim described an eerily similar encounter.
Steven and his girlfriend had just stepped out of the car. That s when a gunman came out of the bushes and ambushed them. The criminal was also wearing a multicolored mask.
The guy runs up, and says get on the f ing ground. [He says] give me your purse, to her. The pistol is three feet away from my face at this point, said Steven.
The couple was told to get on the ground. They complied, and the gunman took everything he could get his hands on.
I m kind of in shock just describing it. Standing where it happened, gives me the chills, said Steven.
These recent driveway holdups are alarming to the Oak Forest Citizen Patrol group.
I ll tell you, it s something to get concerned about. There s just too much of it happening here lately, said president Kurby Hackemack.
Hackemack urges other members of the community to join the group.
What can I do about it, except look and keep my eyes open, he said.
Houston police do not think all of these recent hold-ups are connected. However, police do believe there is a strong similarity between the crimes targeting Olga Mexina and Steven.