HOUSTON Houston police have been busy responding to armed robberies in northwest Houston.

The Hartz Chicken Buffet on North Houston Rosslyn Road was robbed Wednesday night.

Three arm guys just pulled open the door, two jumped over the counter. The other around the lobby, said Brandon, a Hartz Chicken Buffet employee.

Three armed men wearing Halloween masks stormed into the chicken restaurant.

The fear came in later, but at that time they told us to get on the floor, said Brandon.

The trio robbed the store, the employees and customers inside. Then 15 minutes later, and 2.5 miles away, the Hartz Chicken on Hollister was robbed.

They said, Hey this is a stick up, everybody get down, said Stdman Dyer, a victim whose phone was stolen.

A restaurant employee said three people came inside the restaurant.

Nine-year-old Maria Lara was eating chicken with her dad when the men stormed in. She said she saw them take money from the register and rob her dad and other customers.

They came in jumping and I thought they were playing, she said.

The Shell Gas Station around the corner was also robbed Wednesday night. It doesn t end there. An hour later, the Family Dollar on Crosstimbers was also hit.

People are trying to figure out if it s the same group who went on a crime spree the night before.

An employee at Valero on North Shepherd at 16th Street was held at gunpoint. Minutes later, and Auto Zone five blocks away was held up, as were the employees at McDonald s on Ella at the North Loop.

The recent rise in robberies prompted one business owner to pay $10,000 for a bullet-proof glass wall.

Houston police investigators are trying to figure out if it s the same group of guys who are interchanging in the crimes.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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