'Smash and grabs' spike, but thieves walk away empty-handed

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by Brad Woodard / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 26 at 6:20 PM

HOUSTON -- In a week that has seen more than its share of dramatic surveillance video, the smash and grab at the Active Athlete store in southwest Houston could be the most dramatic.

The video showed a Ford pickup truck crashing through steel doors like they were cardboard.

As store manager Juan Sierra tried to resume business as usual on Friday, skid marks from the truck were still visible on the floor. The store itself is taking precautions to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

“We're implementing some steel poles…we’re putting in front of the store,” said store manager Juan Sierra. “This is actually twice that it happened in the last week. One was accidental. One was on purpose, but we’re just trying to avoid that from happening in the future.”

The security doors may not have kept the truck from gaining entry, but they did keep the vehicle from getting out. With their vehicle stuck, the suspects panicked and fled.

What did they get for all of their efforts?

“Nothing,” said Sierra. “Absolutely nothing.”

When it comes to smash and grabs, it seems to be a recurring theme in the Houston area.

Two smash and grabs within 30 minutes on North Sam Houston Parkway Thursday morning where suspects rammed the stores with their vehicles in an attempt to steal the ATMs. While those suspects did not get away with any cash, they left behind thousands of dollars in damage.

So why should you care?

“As far as the criminal act itself, they cause more damage to the business, which in the long run trickles down to the consumer,” said Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Gilliland.

Back at the Active Athlete, they have yet to replace one of their steel security doors.

“They start from 10 to 15 grand,” said Sierra.

It’s a hefty price to pay for someone who wanted to steal something, but got nothing.

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