HOUSTON - The Houston Police Department wants help in identifying the suspect who they say stole at least five purses from various vehicles by sneaking into them while their owners filled up with gas.

The video shows the man at a station at 2200 Main about 1:20 p.m. on Jan. 15.

The man gets out of a small SUV, slides into the victim s vehicle, and then quietly gets back into his minivan before leaving the scene.

The suspects in these types of crimes have become known as sliders due to the sneaky way in which they slide into unlocked vehicles without their owners noticing.

HPD investigators believe the same suspect is responsible for at least four other similar thefts:

  • 17906 Tomball Parkway about 7:45 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2013
  • 14555 Cullen Boulevard about 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 15
  • 6707 West Sam Houston Parkway about 3 p.m. on Jan. 25
  • 9970 Bellaire Boulevard about 7:55 p.m. on Jan. 25

The suspect is described only as a heavy set black male, about 5 feet 9 inches tall. He has a beard and was wearing dark colored pants, dark shirt and a dark jacket with white trim. He was also wearing a beanie cap. The male is seen as a passenger in a newer model Toyota Highlander with paper plates that flees the scene.

Police urge Houstonians to be aware of their surroundings and keep an eye on their belongings while fueling up.

If you can identify the suspect, please call the HPD Auto Theft Division at 713-308-3500 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. You could be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the suspect's arrest and charges.

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