TOMBALL, Texas -- A fearless hotel clerk helped police get a better look at a clerk hitting hotels from Tomball to Magnolia.

Yami Lopez knew something was wrong the minute the man walked into the Comfort Suites on Michel Road on Monday afternoon.

We have a little picture of him on the side, Lopez said. Then I saw him and he fit the description completely.

Lopez's manager, Deanna Gray, said the robber had been in once last week and the story was already printed in the Tomball newspaper.

It was just right out of the Tribune, Gray said. I just clipped it out and put it here with the Tomball PD phone number. If you see him or think it's him don't hesitate to call the cops.

This was the first day on the job for Lopez, but she quickly matched up the man and the picture and called police. Careful not to give away her cover, she tried talking in code.

I decided to stall with the customer that I had up front and made the call to police to let them know he was here, Lopez said.

Captain Ricky Doerre admitted that it took his department a few minutes to decipher the clerk's code.

She was very calm, very cool, said Capt. Doerre. She gives all kinds of hints without saying right out he's standing here.

A customer at the counter started asking the suspect questions so he got spooked and left.

Police arrived later but the suspect was gone. They did however manage to get clear surveillance video of the man.

In the past 5 days, police believe he has robbed a La Quinta and a uniform store in Tomball and two hotels in Magnolia.

He used a pistol in some crimes and a knife in others.

If you recognize him, call Tomball Police at 281-351-5451.

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