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Houston man charged 24th time for allegedly robbing landscaping crew

The thief got away with $30,000 worth of equipment -- or so he thought.

HOUSTON - A four-man landscaping crew was held at gunpoint and robbed in southwest Houston Saturday.

The robbery occurred at 7:20 a.m. Saturday in the 3700 block of South Gessner Road.

The thief got away with $30,000 worth of equipment -- or so he thought.

The owner of IMPEC Landscape Conservation, Clayton Olvera, shared the story of what happened as a cautionary tale for other would-be robbers.

“More and more trucks and outfits like ours, small businesses, are getting these vehicles and equipment with GPS tracking deep inside the vehicles and machinery, so it’s going to be harder and harder to take this equipment in the future,” Olvera said.

Thanks to GPS tracking, police were able to arrest the robbery suspect 30 minutes away from the robbery scene. All of the stolen items were recovered.

“No one was injured. Just a little shaken up. They wanted to go back home to their families. I’m glad they could. They all have kids, including myself. I’m glad everyone was safe,” Olvera said.

The suspect, Taranse Murphy, 36, is charged with two counts of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

Court records show this is the 24th time he’s been charged in Harris County in 19 years.