HOUSTON -

Police are hoping newly released surveillance video will help them find a man wanted for stealing a woman's purse while she pumped gas.

Houston police believe the same man committed the "slider" thefts on at least five different occasions in December and January.

On the afternoon of Jan. 17, police say a Toyota Highlander pulled alongside the victim's car at the gas pump. The suspect got out of the passenger side of the SUV and opened the victim's unlocked passenger door. He grabbed the woman's purse, got back in the SUV and drove off.

Police say the woman did not realize her purse was stolen until she left the gas station parking lot.

Houston police believe the same man is linked to similar incidents:

  • December 22: 17906 Tomball Parkway around 7:45 p.m.
  • January 15: 14555 Cullen Boulevard around 5:30 p.m.
  • January 25: 6707 West Sam Houston Parkway around 3 p.m.
  • January 25: 9970 Bellaire Boulevard around 7:55 p.m.

Officials describe the wanted man as heavy set and 5 feet 9 inches tall with a beard. The vehicle used in these thefts is believed to be a newer model Toyota Highlander with paper plates.

Anyone with information on the identity of this man should call the HPD Auto Theft Division at 713-308-3500 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.